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FUNDING EXTENDED FOR FLOOD COVERAGE

Congress offers a temporary fix for homeowners in limbo.

Congress, once again, has approved short-term funding to keep the National Flood Insurance Program afloat for three more months, welcome relief to home buyers requiring flood insurance who couldn't close on deals or renew policies.

But it's only a temporary fix.

In fact, it's the third time this year that the flood program has been temporarily shut down due to lack of funding, then resurrected by congressional action.

"It seems to be a political football that's been bounced back and forth. It's just terrible to play games like that," said Stacy Mariani, who was alerted by an insurance agent that the flood coverage on his mother's Seminole home might lapse this month.

On Wednesday, the Senate approved funding the program through Sept. 30, with coverage retroactive to May 31. The measure was already approved by the House and is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.

The flood insurance program, created in 1968, offers coverage from floods associated with hurricane storm surge, river or lake overflow, rainstorms, mudslides and winter melt. In the past, legislation to renew funding has been delayed because it's been tied to other funding , such as extended unemployment insurance.

Florida, with the seventh-most flood insurance claims in the country, is particularly sensitive to having adequate flood coverage during hurricane season, making the latest stoppage particularly troubling. Hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30.

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