Explainer: National Flood Insurance Progam


Did you ever wonder why the federal government is in the business of flood insurance? Why not fire or car insurance too? It helps to understand why the private insurance companies got out of this category to understand why Uncle Sam jumped in.

But just like the private sector Congress is finding out just how risky it is to be in the flood insurance business. Since Hurricane Katrina and other storms, flood insurance payouts are costing the federal government more than it wants to pay.

That brings us to 2012, when Congress had enough. It voted to end subsidizing the flood insurance premiums paid by homeowners in flood prone areas.

But later that year came Superstorm Sandy, which has created a backlash against the dramatically higher flood insurance bills that homeowners will soon have to pay. 

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Scott Gurian, the Sandy-Recovery reporter for NJ Spotlight, saw first hand the damage that flooding caused in both New Jersey and New York. For the past year his stories have aired on WHYY and WNYC and appeared on NewsWorks and NJ Spotlight. In the podcast (located near the headline of this story) Gurian talks about efforts underway to slow the implementation of the flood insurance law and why the federal government got into offering insurance in the first place. 




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