Comment of the Day: What Flood Insurance Flows From

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT FLOOD INSURANCE FLOWS FROM “The NFIP is a creation of Congress meant to insure against a peril which the private insurance industry refuses to insure against. The reason private insurance refuses is because there is no actuarially sound method to do so. Effectively, federal flood insurance is not pure risk insurance but actually a type of social insurance. To move the conversation forward on flood insurance reform, that fact has to be acknowledged first. By properly characterizing it as social insurance, we can start talking about how much more people in flood prone areas should pay.” [Jardinero1, commenting on The Limits of Mapping Flood Risk; Original Beaver’s Takes a Summer Vacation] Illustration: Lulu

5 Comment

  • Flood insurance was a 1960s vote getting scheme of the great society era to secure Mississippi river swing votes and gibs to Florida.

    The great society fedgov to fix every booboo was the zeitgeist.

    Florida and several Mississippi river states were swing states in the 1968 election.

    The humphry nixon wallace election was in full swing and everything was politics.

    It was underfunded from the beginning and there has never been any real effort, except once, to fix it’s structural issues.

  • This concept makes sense for people who live right on the beach or like right on a river in some tropical paradise and they assume the flooding risk to live in such a great location. HOWEVER, it’s grossly unfair to apply this thought process to someone who has a house next door to an asshole developer who elevates a property right in the middle of the city and floods out neighbors.

  • I attended a presentation by Art Storey probably shortly after he retired. His comment was the whole of Harris County probably lies in the 100-year floodplain; we just haven’t drawn the maps that way yet.

  • Actuaries are smart people. It is certainly possible to calculate the actuarial likelihood of flood, and to sell insurance for the risk. However, there is little or no private market for <$250K flood insurance, because the federal government sells it more cheaply than the actuarial cost of such insurance. Any private company selling for the NFIP price would be shut down by an insurance commissioner because the pricing is not sound compared to the risk and the claims. So, the federal government has crowded out the private market and encouraged overbuilding in coastal and other flood prone areas.

  • @Tired of flooding. The scenario you describe is a micro-drainage issue and not related to riverine or coasting flooding which is the focus of the NFIP. It would be technically very difficult to model whole county at that scale in order to assign a risk. Without being able to assign any risk, you couldn’t be assigned a high risk and required to pay an arm and a leg. Now if you are repeatedly flooded you could be identified as a repetitively loss property.