Group calls for less NFIP protection, more homebuying

One group is calling for changes to the NFIP that would give flood victims the option to move to higher ground rather than rebuilding

Group calls for less NFIP protection, more homebuying

Catastrophe & Flood

By Ryan Smith

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is up for reauthorization in September, but one interest group is urging a significant change.

Instead of rebuilding properties in areas prone to repeated flooding, the Natural Resources Defense Council wants the program to encourage homeowners to move to a safer area. According to NRDC spokesperson Rob Moore, for every $100 spent to rebuild flood-damaged homes, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) spends only $1.75 to move people to a less flood-prone area.

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“Many of those homeowners would probably prefer to relocate somewhere where flooding is no longer a part of their life, and that would also save… the expense of having to rebuild these properties,” Moore told radio station WWL AM.

Moore said that the Natural Resources Defense Council is proposing that the NFIP give homeowners a guaranteed buyout if they no longer wish to rebuild.

“The flood insurance program would often get a financial saving for helping people move to higher ground,” he said.

Moore also told WWL that Congress should also mandate that homeowners be educated about the flooding history of their homes. Currently, he said, they can’t access that information.

“Currently the only people that can get it already must have flood insurance, and that information won’t be provided until after they filed their first damage claim,” he said. “That’s not really the time to inform people that their home repeatedly floods.”

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