With all eyes focused on passage of healthcare reform legislation, itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s good to see that a short term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was passed by the Senate in the 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill over the weekend, albeit for just another two months. The program is now set to expire on February 28, 2010. The move keeping the NFIP in place was applauded by the advocacy trades, but they cautioned that a longer term solution will be required to address the programÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s financial troubles. In a statement, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) said it looks forward to working with the House and Senate in 2010 to advocate a long-term extension ensuring the programÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fiscal soundness that protects homeowners. Similarly, the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) called on members of Congress to use the latest short term extension to complete reforms to the NFIP. In a press release NAMIC said: Ã¢â‚¬Å“While itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s important that the NFIP remain in place for the next two months, Congress needs to stop kicking the can down the road and start working on meaningful reforms.Ã¢â‚¬ At the end of 2008, the NFIP had some 5.7 million policies in force and losses paid by the program totaled $2.6 billion that year. The average premium for an annual flood insurance policy is around $542, yet a 2008 poll by the I.I.I. found that only 17 percent of Americans have a flood insurance policy. Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Check out I.I.I. info on flood insurance.