Flood Insurance


Grimm-Cassidy Bill Seeks to Gut Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reforms

, , lead economist and climate policy manager

In an extraordinary turnabout, House members seem set to abandon bedrock principles of fiscal conservatism by voting on a bill to undermine the Biggert-Waters flood insurance reforms. Those reforms would have put the highly-indebted National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in a more solvent position, benefiting taxpayers who have been footing the growing bill for costs of flooding. They would have also helped shine a light on the growing risks and costs of development along parts of our coasts threatened by sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding. Read more >

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The Biggert-Waters Act: Fix It, Don’t Abandon It

, lead economist and climate policy manager

As I mentioned in a previous blogpost, the Senate is gearing up to vote on delaying the reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) mandated by the Biggert-Waters Act. With rising sea levels increasing the risk of coastal flooding and the NFIP’s debt mounting (over $24 billion currently), it’s time for senators to find a sensible middle ground that protects both local communities and taxpayers. Read more >

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How to Fix Flood Insurance: Delaying the Biggert-Waters Act is Not the Answer

, lead economist and climate policy manager

The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which passed with broad bipartisan support in July 2012, requires the taxpayer-backed National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to set premiums that reflect true flood risk and will help put the program on a more financially secure footing. Now many of the same senators who voted to support these necessary and overdue reforms are set to gut them. Biggert-Waters is flawed but it can and should be fixed, not overturned or substantially delayed. Read more >

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Lessons from Hurricane Sandy for Flood Risk and Flood Insurance

, lead economist and climate policy manager

Hurricane Sandy caused record flooding along the coasts of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, much of it resulting from storm surge. Sea level rise means that these kinds of storm surges are now riding on elevated water levels so that their destructive power extends higher and farther inland. Coupled with growing population and development along our coasts, major storms are creating increased risk for coastal residents – and threatening the financial solvency of the taxpayer-backed National Flood Insurance Program. Read more >

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Rising Seas and Worsening Storms Require Rethinking Flood and Wind Insurance

, lead economist and climate policy manager

In a world with rising seas and worsening storms, we’ve got to get smarter about how and where we build along our coasts. A new UCS report released today points out that our government-backed flood and wind insurance programs are encouraging risky coastal development that exposes coastal communities to harm and creates the potential for large damage costs paid for by all taxpayers. Local examples of policies that create risk are unfortunately common too: recently, New Jersey policy makers passed a bill that would allow development on piers in coastal high hazard areas, putting more people and property in harm’s way. Read more >

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