The National Flood Insurance Program, administered by the
Communities can voluntarily join the program but have to adopt floodplain ordinances based on
The policies, written by private insurers but backed by the federal program, are affordable because they are essentially subsidized by Americans living in less flood-prone zones who also buy policies.
What does it cover?
Owners of single family homes can purchase up to
How does it work?
Anyone with a government-backed mortgage living in a federally designated flood zone must purchase flood insurance if they are in zones V (highest risk) and A (lower risk). Those in a third zone, X (lowest) can still purchase insurance. Premiums are set, in part, according to zone.
Why is the program in debt?
Costliest Flooding Events in the
The top payouts from the National Flood Insurance Program by weather event, in billions. Figures do not include Hurricanes Irma, Harvey, Maria or Jose from this year.
By the start of summer, the flood insurance program was
Since then, Harvey and Irma likely added
Which parts of the country participate?
Policies are sold in 22,000 communities nationwide, with coastal areas accounting for three-quarters of them. Overall, coastal counties run a
Most Heavily Insured
The top N.J. municipalities ranked by the value of policies written through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Is the government trying to fix it?
But climate change is having an impact as more frequent, bigger storms help increase the program's debt. "Climate change could increase damage by raising sea levels and potentially also by increasing the intensity of hurricanes," the nonpartisan
Proposals have been made to raise premiums to what they might be if a private insurer underwrote the policies.
The program was up for reauthorization at the end of September, but
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