The National Flood Insurance Program may have reached another low point in its spotted history. In recent weeks, home and business owners in Lousiana have begun to seek mandatory insurance from the NFIP through the signing of new or refinanced mortgages. These homeowners are trying to seek protection through the NFIP in advances of approaching floodwaters moving down the Mississippi. While legal, these efforts clearly fly in the face of how the NFIP was originally intended to function.
In a new letter originally posted in the New Orleans Times Picayune, I argue that this incident is a prime example of the overall failure of the NFIP, with property owners using the NFIP as a crutch instead of preparing beforehand.
“The rush for guaranteed flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program for “new mortgage applicants” demonstrates clearly how much of a failure the program has been in its intended goals.
The NFIP was supposed to promote mitigation, encouraging property owners and communities to prepare for floods before they happen. Instead, it has encouraged more development in risky, flood-prone areas. The program can’t be done away with immediately but, over time, the federal government needs to reexamine the way it works.”
My piece, “This is Not How the National Flood Insurance Program was Supposed to Work” was originally published in the Orleans Times Picayune May 27, 2011.