The latest estimates from CoreLogic suggest 95,000 homes with a value of $40 billion sat in Hurricane Sandy’s path this past Monday.
Of course, that does not mean every home took on water or suffered wind damage. But when looking at the total stock of at-risk homes, that number is quite large.
With storm damage often costing insurers and government agencies billions of dollars, organizations like SmarterSafer.org are pushing for flood insurance and investments in mitigation procedures that can reduce the impact of major storms. One of those measures is the continued push for a revamped and permanently intact National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP offers homeowners in flood-prone areas a cost effective insurance product.
SmarterSafer, which advocated for the recent passage of a bill to extend the national flood insurance program, still desires more reform that will discourage building in at-risk zones.
The agencies’ proposals include additional NFIP adjustments, which would be implemented in long-term NFIP reform, to insure those obtaining flood insurance are paying higher premiums to cover the more severe risks they are taking near waterways.
The national flood insurance program remains $18 billion in debt.
The recent extension of NFIP included provisions that will adjust some of the rates using actuarial levels, but SmarterSafer still desires comprehensive reform.
“Hurricane Sandy is the latest reminder of a glaring omission from the federal government’s disaster policies: The absence of a national mitigation strategy,” SmarterSafer said. “It is less expensive to be prepared for disasters such as Sandy before they hit than it is to rebuild after them. It is time for Congress to promote a national disaster mitigation strategy to do this. it is also time for common sense reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program to be implemented.”
The idea behind the proposals is to discourage building near flood prone areas unless the homeowners are willing to assume higher insurance coverage expenses to accurately price the risk.