In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, coastal areas in Texas and Louisiana are still dealing with the damage and devastation caused by the massive amounts of water. Now, with Hurricane Irma in a path of destruction, it has become the strongest on record with winds exceeding 185mph. Florida is preparing for the storm to make landfall in a few days and has called for emergency evacuations in the vulnerable areas. Other coastal areas in the gulf and east coast are also carefully monitoring the storm’s path.
Wind and flood damage are some of the biggest concerns facing homeowners and business owners. Flood insurance is a separate policy and most homes have purchased flood protection with The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is administered by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and is deeply in debt to the US treasury. It has not recovered from prior storms such as Katrina (2005) and Sandy (2012). The NFIP insures most policies that are held in the US and is set to expire at the end of September. Not only is the agency set to expire, they are nearing their borrowing maximum of $30 billion.
Risk appraisers are seeking renewal and reform of this government insurance as premiums are too low to cover the massive amounts of claims. This is where it becomes encouraged to seek private flood insurance so that a home or business has proper protection in the event of flooding.
At the moment, renewal is under review. However, with the massive amounts of debt the program has, it is uncertain what the future holds for the NFIP. Harvey and Irma may be the final test of the program and see whether it continues or dissolves.