Beale calls for 'urgent' flood insurance reform

Marco Green
September 13, 2017

But the situation would not be almost so dire without decades of well-intentioned but deeply flawed federal programs. First, let's cover floods. Instead, the government stepped in to "help". There will be some federal aid for flood victims in Texas forthcoming, but it won't cover all that has been lost for many people. That's despite more than 31,000 ME homes being in designated federal flood hazard areas.

Commercial insurers won't offer homeowners flood insurance at any price - and they offer windstorm insurance only at a high price.

The administration should now reinstate the measure so we don't leave communities - like those in Texas - and their infrastructure highly exposed to flood risk and costly fix bills.

It is hard to determine exactly how many homeowners have flood insurance.

White counseled a far more comprehensive approach. It also promotes the destruction of wetlands that could reduce flooding.

It was a novel idea, but implementation proved problematic in the 1950s and 1960s. It passed a bill in 2012 that would have raised premiums, but after an outcry from numerous 5 million policyholders, Congress changed the program again in 2014 to cap the increases policyholders would have to pay.

About 400,000 homes in the counties affected by Harvey have policies, as do about 500,000 homes in counties along the Florida Gulf Coast. Insurance groups say that unless you live on a hilltop, you should purchase flood insurance these days. The plan basically only covers homes in flood prone areas that pose the highest risk.

White endorsed the idea, hoping it would proceed on "an experimental pilot basis".

But the case against subsidized flood insurance is not a case against growth; it is a case against distorted growth.

'Meanwhile, existing home owners as well as commercial entities may find their largest asset unprotected if the Federal Emergency Management Administration can't renew NFIP policies that expire. That fell to the government, but it still didn't have accurate flood maps to do so. As a outcome, it began enrolling communities into the program without having a precise idea of the risks involved; at the same time, rampant development in flood plains continued, making it next to impossible for the government to keep up.

The NAR is calling on Congress to make extending the NFIP a top priority as that will give protection while the necessary work is carried out to finish reforming and reauthorizing the programme.

Extensive flood damage can lead to financial ruin for the uninsured. Consequently, "the federal government had no assurance that the communities' flood-prone lands were being developed wisely".

The same GAO report found that the government wasn't able to keep up with new development.

"The problem is that we are all at risk", he said. At the time, it was averaging 91. This wasn't entirely irrational: Every time a catastrophic hurricane hit the U.S., Congress appropriated more money to help residents.

Congress has given the debt-saddled National Flood Insurance Program, set to expire September 30, a three-month extension.

Who can purchase flood insurance?

For more information about the different types of insurance and what to consider when check out these links.

Congress attempted to fix this mess by passing an overhaul of the NFIP in 2012. Initially, it paid for itself through premiums. But two years later, feeling the political heat, lawmakers backtracked. There have been thousands of cars that have flooded in the Houston area as well as Florida. That will make everyone feel good for a bit. No amount of disaster relief will change that.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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