Our non-profit's mission is to inform and advocate for the interests of insurance consumers - policyholders.  When it comes to flood insurance, those interests are fairly simple: 

  • Access to affordable coverage for the damage that floods do to property
  • Policies that pay on time to repair that damage

Only 5 million of the 122 million households in America are insured for damage from flooding. That includes flooding from hurricane-induced storm surges as well as overflowing rivers and waterways.  Climate change is bringing many uncertainties.  Increased flooding is not one of them.  Increased flooding is a certainty. It's already happening. As a nation, we have to step up. Stepping up has to include recognizing that Americans are all in this together, and although flood resiliency is a complex and challenging problem, we have the resources to improve our situation and strengthen our communities. 

Congress should prioritize flood mitigation and improve and reauthorize the NFIP while allowing the growth of viable options in the competitive marketplace. Property owners need to recognize their flood risk and buy insurance to cover it, with help from affordability protectionsUnited Policyholders is working hard to advance those goals. 

Earlier leaders had the vision to create a National Flood Insurance Program that aims to prevent and repair flood damage.  By design, the program engages the private sector and government, home and business owners, lenders, insurers, engineers, mapping and weather experts, plus FEMA and its parent agency - Homeland Security.  The program has many good features, despite being a political football that many love to hate.  The program's latest sunset/reauthorization deadline is coming up on December 8th, 2017, and the politics are a doozy.

I recently had the privilege of being on a flood insurance discussion panel at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona.  Innovator Ned Dolese (Coastal American) was also on the panel, along with Frank O'Brien, (PCI - a national insurer trade association/lobbying entity) and OK Insurance Commissioner John Doak.  Doak is a strong proponent of prioritizing mitigation.  I came away optimistic about innovation in the private sector as a partial solution to our flood resiliency imperative. 

As to Congressional action in the next two weeks...stay tuned.

About The Blogger

Amy Bach

Amy Bach has been a professional advocate for insurance policyholders since 1984 and an attorney since 1989. While practicing insurance regulatory law and representing clients in litigation matters, she co-founded United Policyholders in 1991. Bach migrated from the private practice of law in 2005 to become the organization's full-time Executive Director and primary spokesperson; shaping and overseeing the Roadmap to Recovery™, Roadmap to Preparedness, and Advocacy and Action programs. She is a nationally-recognized expert on insurance claim and legal matters; frequently interviewed in print and broadcast media, and the author of numerous legal and consumer publications including "The Disaster Recovery Handbook," "WISE UP: The Savvy Consumer's Guide to Buying Insurance," and tips and guides in the UP Claim Help Library.  Recognized by Money Magazine as a Money Hero, Bach has served as an official consumer representative to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners since 2009 and is in her second term as an appointed member of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance. She also currently serves on the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Disaster Preparedness and Response.