NFIP in Limbo Again

By: Ashley Conroy Email
By: Ashley Conroy Email

With hurricane season underway, the Mississippi Insurance Department is not only concerned about residents along the coast, but residents even hundreds of miles inland can be affected.

Floods can happen at any time without warning. And now Congress has failed to reinstate the National Flood Insurance Program for the third time in 2010.

Sen. Thad Cochran released this statement:
"Hurricane Katrina exposed weaknesses in the National Flood Insurance Program. Unfortunately, Congress has yet been able to reach a consensus on how best to correct those shortcomings."

As a result, those who depend on this insurance program have to deal with multiple short-term extensions to the existing program.

A FEMA report shows those shortcomings can be anything from someone increasing their policy to renewing their policy to even purchasing a new policy altogether.

John Wells of the Mississippi Insurance Department says the timing, for many, is difficult.

"It couldn't come at a worse time, and we've got a situation where they're already stressed out about the oil spill," said Wells.

In addition, the insurance department says those who live along the coast aren't the only ones who should be wary. It says 25% of all flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas, and rainfall from hurricanes can strike hundreds of miles inland.

The NFIP website shows people what to do to be smart and prepare for worst case flooding.

All the while, the insurance department says the good news is that those who filed during the lapse should be reinstated as usual.

"My understanding is that those applications will honored back to that date, and the policy should be issued once the program is turned back on," Wells said.

FEMA reports that most of the 5.6 million people nationwide who have flood insurance won't be affected.

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