For Immediate Release: April 20, 2017
Contact: William Gerlich, 212-390-8860
WASHINGTON, D.C. — SmarterSafer.org, a national coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, insurance interests, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, today released the following statement in response to a new report by the American Academy of Actuaries entitled “National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP): Challenges and Solutions.”
“The American Academy of Actuaries report provides valuable information that Congress should consider as it prepares to reauthorize the NFIP, and rightfully highlights the need for updated mapping and mitigation. In the area of private flood insurance, however, the report fails to provide an adequate assessment of how private insurers can help put the NFIP on a more sustainable path. Interestingly enough, the report praises Florida’s strategy to stabilize its insurance marketplace, which went from the brink of financial ruin to strong financial footing by relying on private insurers to reduce its massive exposure to taxpayers.
“With the NFIP set to expire in September, lawmakers should follow Florida’s lead by opening up the flood insurance marketplace to private sector competition, which will not only reduce the program’s size and debt, but will ensure that the NFIP remains sustainable for years to come.”
SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the Federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters. At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers. Measures such as subsidizing artificially low rates for homeowners’ insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not incentivize people to live in harm’s way in places prone to hurricanes and floods.