Those with less-damaged property were, for the most part, left to decide for themselves how to spend whatever insurance money they received. But altogether, 20 to 30 percent of the 33,000 city residents have yet to return to their homes, Mr. Kemins estimated. Some are abandoning their flood-prone first floors and adding another story on top, he said, or elevating the entire house. Others, like the Blumenfelds, are starting over and building higher. To date, some 200 households have applied for permits.

These are all expensive solutions, but they don’t seem nearly as expensive when you consider that under theCongressional Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, those who have houses that sit four or more feet below the local sea level threshold, or “base flood elevation,” as FEMA refers to it, could have annual premiums rise to as much as $9,500 a year — for flood coverage alone. Houses raised well above the threshold, on the other hand, will generally pay less than $500.

In other words, punish the people whose homes haven’t been destroyed by jacking up their premiums, which is SO going to prevent future hurricanes and natural disasters. Could Congress be making like a circus seal for the insurance industry any harder?


3 thoughts on “Fuckers

  1. It’s horribly unfair, but the unfairness is coming from the effects of global warming. The insurance rates just recognize that living near the water has gotten much riskier.
    I expect this is just the first of many steps away from rising waters.

  2. I used to live on the southeast coast. I will bitterly criticize the flood insurance program because I have seen folks build gated communities in areas almost certain to flood. But these were million dollar vacation homes, so if a hurricane came through, they would just move their vacation to their other summer home while they rebuilt with flood insurance money. Meanwhile, those living on the land of their ancestors on the barrier islands were steadily pressured economically to move inland (and take a 1 hour bus ride back to the island each day to be a maid at one of the vacation homes or even high priced resort on the barrier islands.
    (Even if they were still living on the barrier island, in case a hurricane hits, they can’t sit around waiting for flood insurance to pay and then rebuild. Are they supposed to pitch a tent and hope the weather remains sunny till then?)
    But I do have to defend the flood insurance folks on this event. A massive amount of damage was that all sorts of buildings were built years before flood insurance. They had inadequate set-back from the ocean. They were built without a sufficient elevation to handle storms. I have heard from more than one NJ or NY native that they didn’t have to worry about storms as a hurricane would never make it there.
    The private insurance companies didn’t want to touch flood insurance (and check your home or renters policy. Most make a distinction between damage from rain, wind-driven rain, wind-driven water, and flood. I’m shocked they don’t put in exemptions for water with increased levels of deuterium.).
    The National Flood Insurance was a program to provide flood insurance (at a price far below what the open commerce market would have to charge) while “turning the screws” on local communities to provide infrastructure and enact building codes to reduce the risk of flood-related damage.
    So regulating any re-construction is a big part of what flood insurance is supposed to do.

  3. What needs to happen here is that people should figure out not to build in dangerous areas.
    People who lived there before insurance was invented mostly built differently than conventional (as in Euro-inspired) buildings are done now.

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