Coastal wind insurance coverage

Published 4:51 pm Monday, August 23, 2010

The failure of private insurance companies to offer wind coverage to home and business owners in the nation’s coastal regions ought to compel Congress to add wind coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Yet Congressman Gene Taylor’s proposal to do just that is stalled in the House of Representatives.

A primary opponent of Taylor’s proposal is the United States Chamber of Commerce, which four years and eleven months after Hurricane Katrina still does not understand the severity of this situation.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

As Coast businessman Jerry St. Pe put it: “It is troubling that an organization such as the U.S. Chamber fails to recognize that in a global economy a national disaster in one region of the country inflicts serious, lasting economic hardship on all other regions. One would think the oil spill would have been a sufficient event to alter the Chamber’s understanding on the need for a national approach to dealing with disasters.”

Taylor is more blunt: “The Chamber of Commerce, for some ungodly reason, has come out against it. You would think, with the astronomical increases in premiums that businesses have had to pay for wind insurance, the Chamber would go to bat for businesses and not the insurance industry.”

If you do business on either the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast, we urge you to contact the U.S. Chamber and urge them to support the only alternative to financial ruin being offered to coastal residents and businesses. …

Opposition has also come from some environmental groups. So we also urge coastal chapters of all national organizations to contact their leadership and urge them to at least give coastal residents and businesses a chance to survive a natural disaster.

We have steadfastly called for and encouraged a private sector solution to this ongoing obstacle to our recovery from Hurricane Katrina. After nearly five years, we cannot afford the insurance industry’s inaction. With no alternative available, Congress must give multi-peril insurance a try.