A fix, or alternative to NFIP is needed

Published 7:00 am Saturday, September 9, 2017

The National Flood Insurance Program offers coverage to nearly every homeowner living in a flood zone within this country.

It was created in 1968 after flood polices offered by private insurance companies became too costly, with the intention of eventually eliminating the need for flood insurance through a series of local ordinances for new construction in flood zones.

The problem is a number of properties were grandfathered in, and have been repetitively covered after a flood.  Now, the program is in serious jeopardy. Storms that ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005 almost made the NFIP non-existent. Extensions of the program initially required increasing rates, but amendments led to gradual increases. If that trend continues, a number of people living in these areas will be unable to afford coverage.

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Already, the program is said to be $25 billion in debt. And at the end of the month, the program is set to expire yet

again. It’s a serious issue, one that needs

to be addressed by the end of the month, especially now that Texas, and soon Florida, will rely on that safety net.

This week, the Senate doubled the disaster aid to $15 billion within the NFIP. While that move still has to pass the House, continuing this trend will only exacerbate the problem.

According to the Huffington Post, five million homes have NFIP policies.  Our government can’t let it lapse by not extending the deadline, and at the same time can’t continue to allow the program to fall deeper into debt.

It’s time for private insurance companies across the country to step up and offer flood insurance once again, instead of relying on the government to fill the void. The problem lies in the fact that the NFIP was established due to a lack of affordable rates offered by private companies.

It’s a lot to ask of insurance companies, but until the intended purpose of the NFIP of reducing the risk flood zones is reached, it’s necessary.