Friday, June 13, 2008

Revisiting the flood insurance issue.

In my post yesterday I said that anyone can buy flood insurance, regardless of whether you've been deemed to be in a 100 year flood plain by FEMA. The man that I discussed who lost his house had said in his interview with NBC that he didn't have insurance because "it's complicated". How true is that.

Reading through this morning's paper, I can't seem to find an exact answer on whether you can always buy flood insurance. Even the state official that is in charge of the program is unclear. If your municipality opts out of the national flood insurance program you either cannot get flood insurance or you must pay obscene amounts of money to get it.

Why would river and lakes communities opt out of flood insurance? To quote the State Journal article "officials fear that joining the program will stunt economic development by boosting construction costs and restricting the ability to build in high-risk flood areas."

So, ultimately what that means is that if a municipality opts out, but your insurer recognizes the risk, they won't insure you. And can you blame them?

If that were me, I guess I'd reconsider my decision to build in a hazardous area. What is sad is that there are people living in towns and villages throughout the state whose municipal governments chose not to participate in the national flood insurance program. People whose businesses on Main Street are now wiped out, with no federal aid forthcoming because their local government didn't want to stifle economic development out in the resort areas. You see, if you don't participate in the program and your town gets wiped out you are not eligible for federal disaster assistance.

Though these towns are allowed to try to get into the program in six months.

A writer to our daily paper had this to say
"A decision was made to benefit business interest in the short term. A few people benefited for a few years; now many more are dealing with an economic disaster.
Be careful when you see a proposal for less government or lower taxes. Contaminated food, bad drugs and pollution are the result of insufficient government control. Big corporations have only one objective - to make money regardless of the impact on society.
Only government agencies that act in the interest of consumers can reduce these catastrophes. The irrational American Conservative dream that everyone can be in the top 1 percent has exacerbated recent calamities".


Dr. Zaius said...

That's just crazy! I am so glad that our healthcare insurance plans aren't like that.

Fran said...

FWIW - when I lived in Nyack, where there are many underground rivers that flow to the Hudson and water isssues galore, I did buy flood insurance.

It had to be purchased from a gov't authorized (kinda makes ya feel all warm 'n fuzzi) vendor, but I did it.

It was not complicated or even really that expensive, all things considered.

no_slappz said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
no_slappz said...

Last week, Gov. Jim Doyle announced that seven Wisconsin counties, including Milwaukee, had become eligible for disaster FoodShare benefits, a federally funded program that offers a month's worth of food stamps to residents who incur damage in a declared disaster and fall below an income threshold.

For example, a family of four earning $2,295 this month could get a food voucher worth up to $542. Aid is provided within about seven days, according to the county.

Federal rules do not require applicants to provide proof of either flood damage or income, according to state Department of Health and Family Services Secretary Karen Timberlake.