FEMA making flood insurance changes

The American Press

FEMA and flood insurance

Sometimes the best way to prod Congress to do something is to take the initiative, and that is exactly what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is doing in the flood insurance field. Congress can’t seem to agree on how to save the debt-burdened program.

FEMA officials want to loosen rules around private insurers offering their own flood policies and have purchased more reinsurance from companies to offset future losses, according to a report in The Advocate. The changes come as the program that is already $30 billion in debt pays more claims from 2017 hurricanes.

One National Flood Insurance Program official said opening up the flood insurance competition would benefit federal taxpayers by hopefully reducing the number of homeowners who go without coverage. 

The reinsurance move means if claims top $4 billion, the reinsurance coverage will kick in to cover the next $1.46 billion in losses.

An official with the American Insurance Association said the flooding events of 2016 and 2017 clearly show that too few property owners purchase flood insurance. He said there needs to be more ways to expand consumer options by expanding private coverage.

Louisiana members of Congress have their own ideas about how to save the flood program by reducing its debt, but each is different. U.S. Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., believes in sharing more coverage with private companies. U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., is co-author of a plan that promotes trimming back compensation to “Write Your Own” companies as a way to pull more money into the program.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, brokered a compromise that got an NFIP bill through the House. It split the congressional delegation down the middle. Those against it felt it was potentially devastating to homeowners in the state.

Scalise, however, vowed to protect homeowners whose rates are grandfathered in under the current program so those who played by the rules won’t be penalized or kicked out of the program.

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, liked the idea of opening up the market, but said FEMA should have left changes to the NFIP to Congress. He said it jeopardizes a long-term fix. If others in Congress feel that way, FEMA may be doing exactly what it takes to spur Congress to finally fix the flood insurance program.

Local News

BREAKING: Power outages force school closures

Local News

Traffic backed up on I-10 bridge

life

Thousands of participants to walk in Carry The Load’s National Relay

Local News

May is Foster Care Awareness Month; DCFS recruiting more caregivers

Local News

Cassidy, Risch, colleagues introduce NOPE Act to cut off US funding to UN if Palestinian authority receives more privileges

Local News

Louisiana’s pre-K-12th grade education improves in national rankings

Local News

With the shock of Oct. 7 still raw, profound sadness and anger grip Israel on its Memorial Day

Local News

US aims to stay ahead of China in using AI to fly fighter jets, navigate without GPS and more

Crime

CPSO searching for driver of truck involved in hit-and-run

Local News

Higgins announces USDA assistance for crawfish farmers

Crime

5/13: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

Local News

WEATHER UPDATE: School dismissal updates

Local News

‘Make sure it doesn’t get released;’ Star witness Michael Cohen implicates Trump in hush money case

Local News

WEATHER WATCH: Severe thunderstorms expected this afternoon, tonight

Local News

Beauregard School Board lends support to Title IX regulations challenge

life

Jeff Davis residents urged to sign up for summer feeding program

life

Maplewood UMC celebrating 80 years as storm repairs continue

life

SW La. school lunch menus May 13-17

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

McNeese Sports

Cowboys split, clinch playoff spot

Crime

Community meeting focuses on fentanyl problem

Local News

Louisiana Day: Students at Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy enjoy day of learning, fun

Local News

Heavy rainfall, potential severe weather coming Sunday

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Amended bill is unacceptable