The US Congress has extended the deadline to renew or repeal its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The programme’s original deadline of September 30 has now been pushed back to December 8.
US president Donald Trump signed a bill on Friday, which extended the government debt limit for three months and is providing around $15 billion in hurricane-related aid, according to news agency Reuters.
US Senator Charles Schumer - who had called upon Congress to extend the deadline - stated that it would be “irresponsible” to allow the programme to lapse during hurricane season.
The NFIP provides flood coverage to more than 5.2 million homeowners across the US. It has so far produced around $25 billion in debt to the Treasury.
Hurricane Harvey may produce at least $4 billion in flood claims, triggering the NFIP reinsurance programme, according to estimates.
Lobby group SmarterSafer previously said that US Congress should pass a short-term extension to ensure that the NFIP is available to pay claims and process new policies in flood zones such as in Hurricane Harvey impacted areas.
Property losses from the flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey’s record-breaking rainfall will reach between $65 billion and $75 billion, according to estimates by catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide.