In a local television news report in New Orleans and one yesterday in Tampa, I explained the need for policyholders in coastal areas to purchase flood insurance. The problem is that flood insurance is getting harder to find and more expensive to purchase.
A Wall Street Journal article, As Hurricane Season Begins, Insurance Gets Harder to Find, also noted that Congress is not helping policyholders or the real estate market by its politics with the National Flood Program:
Congress’s failure to extend the flood insurance program is delaying an estimated 1,200 real-estate closings a day across the U.S., according to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. Federal law requires homes with federally backed mortgages in flood-hazard areas to have flood insurance.
I recently posted two items concerning the need for everybody to purchase supplemental flood insurance — Time to Buy Flood Insurance Coverage and Oil and Hurricanes: Here Comes the One Two Punch. As indicated in the Wall Street Journal article, The Insurance Information Institute agrees with me and similarly notes that National Flood will pay for the oil damage if storm surge brings it on a flood covered property:
Of particular concern this hurricane season: flood damage. Storm surges could bring polluted floodwaters from the oil spill in the Gulf, potentially affecting property owners from Louisiana to Cape Hatteras, N.C.
But standard homeowners’ policies generally don’t cover pollution damage resulting from a flood; only supplemental flood insurance does. "In general, whatever is mixed in with the water is part of the flood, hence excluded from a [traditional] homeowner policy," says Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, an industry nonprofit group.
Congress should stop playing politics with the National Flood Program. Since June 1, the program has been forced to stop writing new policies because of politics. This is not the time for politicians to be changing policy or needlessly harming others by holding National Flood hostage to get other legislation passed.