Natural Disasters Spark Debate Over Flood Insurance Reform

It has been over two years since hurricane Katrina devastated Louisiana and Mississsippi. With many homes still not rebuilt, demolished or renovated, it raises the big question about flood insurance and whether or not there should be reform in the insurance industry.
In the September 2007 issue of Mortgage Banking it is reported that the decision of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee to reauthorize and reform the National Flood Insurance Program by moving the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007 in late July and that the decision would curtail the coverage for second homes while adding for windstorm damage. However, the committee explained that the bill would give advantage to small business owners.

Mortgage companies require flood insurance for homes located in flood-prone areas, but homeowners in lower-risk areas may also consider coverage to protect their property, according to Terri Cullen of The Wall Street Journal. Average premiums for a flood insurance is about $600 a year, but those in high risk areas can pay as much as $5,400 a year. Tenants in low-risk areas may pay about $200 a year or $2,200 for high-risk zones.

Leading to the fact that it is very expensive to those who really need it, spawning debate as to whether the government should step in and create legislation for flood insurance in those areas that desperately need it such as we`ve seen along the Gulf Coast.
Heightened interest in the natural catastrophe policy is a plus for supporters of the optional federal charter. Congress has dealt with several natural catastrophe related matters, including the House Financial Services Committee`s vote to expand the National Flood Insurance Program to cover wind risks. A definite win for those who need it.
National Underwriter / Property & Casualty Risk & Benefits Management`s Susanne Sclafane reports of the decision of the New Orleans federal appeals court on the need for the homeowners to purchase the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in New Orleans, Louisiana.

It is triggered by the claims on damages caused by the Hurricane Katrina. Justin Roth, senior federal affairs director of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos., said that the flood maps of the nation needs an update to make sure that claims are really due to floods to prevent other claims.
With the U.S. House of Representatives approving the H.

R. 3121 legislation that intends to expand the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), by a vote of 38-29, it aims to offer coverage for wind damage as well. It also includes provisions that would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to revise the country`s flood maps by 2010 ,and terminate the subsidies for structures built before NFIP`s establishment, which Roth feels is vital.
Flood insurance is vital those homeowners and renters along our country`s coastline and those near larger bodies of water. Although many more bills remain being debated in Washington in regards to flood reform, one thing is clear, for those that need it most, reform can not happen quick enough.

By: Michael C. Podlesny.

About the Author:
Michael C. Podlesny is a freelance writer for Indocquent.com. Indocquent.com is an online resource that allows businesses and individuals to promote their products and services in 20,000 cities in over 200 countries around the world free of charge.

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