So there you have it folks, people with side condos on the beach get the NFIP’s best rates while homeowners in Bay St Louis get stuck with their bill. Worth noting is Congressman Steven Palazzo voted for Biggert-Waters Act, an act that will likely bankrupt substantial numbers of his own constituents. Heckuva job Palazzi!
StopFemaNow is a group of concerned citizens, who have not only been effected by Super Storm Sandy, but who have been impacted on varying levels by the implications of the new FEMA flood maps. The decision to adopt these maps is premature and requires additional consideration. We want to, quite simply, Stop Fema Now!
Our goal is to create community awareness as the adoption of these maps will heavily impact many communities across this country. These maps will tear many from their homes, force many to make harsh decisions about their futures with no real place to turn and ultimately change our lives. The financial implications alone are frightening!
We are faced with many unanswered questions and very little direction. StopFemaNow intends to provide a fact based argument as to how and why we can rebuild stronger and more resilient with a more “realistic” approach. Together we will prevail!
Meantime at the local business community meeting on this topic a couple of days ago here in Bay Waveland, Steven Palazzo sent a staffer in his stead as he is evidently afraid to publicly engage his vote to bankrupt substantial numbers of his ownconstituents “reforming” the corporate welfare program otherwise known as the Flood Insurance Program.
Here is what you don’t hear in the mainstream media outlets like the New York Times:
(3) 40 percent of premium dollars going to the NFIP and private insurance companies for program administration, (4) adjusters who wrongly attribute wind damage to the flood program, and (5) 40 percent of federally backed mortgages required to carry insurance do not carry it — have led to premium increases of up to 3,000 percent and much more. Policies now costing $500 can increase to more than $20,000 when rates are fully phased in because structures are deemed out of compliance by Biggert-Waters.
True NFIP reform means clearing the rats off the money, not bankrupting your own people so insurance companies based in Illinois can make a fortune. And that’s the bottom line……..
The AP’s Jeff Amy tackled the subject of Mississippi’s declining gaming industry Saturday in a must read story. In a prior life Jeff was a business reporter and that prior experience shows in the piece he wrote. The worst of the problems are at the north Mississippi Delta casinos but also extend to the Coast to a lesser degree.
Next up is the impacts of rising flood insurance premiums on the real estate market in Florida, the Northeast and Louisiana:
It would be nice to see one of the mainstream media outlets covered the inherent conflicts of interest built into the flood program and the fact that the middlemen WYO insurers take a 30% slice off the top for writing the policies. Yeah, those facts add a degree of complexity to the topic but they are vital to understanding what is truly going on with the program as this is not entirely about the program underpricing risk. Unfortunately the story above, like most of them gloss over those facts, in the case of the New York Times likely in deference to their insurance advertisers.
Finally we have Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd back in the news cycle:
I’ll note for the record that when Congressman Palazzo’s opinion mattered most, i.e. when he voted on Biggert-Waters he voted to impose those NFIP rate increases on his own people, which will keep the folks at the US Bankruptcy Court busy for years to come.
The troubled Flood Insurance program is billions of dollars in debt and the Biggert-Waters Act, designed as it was by the Insurance Industry for the sole benefit of the insurance industry guarantees that the billions of dollars in wind claims private insurers such as State Farm dumped on the NFIP after Hurricane Katrina will be repaid by the NFIP ratepayers instead of the large companies that socialized their contractual obligations under their insurance policies that dumped them on the US Treasury. Unfortunately the people of this area were sold out to the insurance industry by our own politicians, who now claim ignorance of the impacts of the bill upon which they voted Aye.
In related news Alpert checked in yesterday with a report on the FEMA pilot program on adjusting flood maps to give credit for locally built, non-accredited levees. This seems a risky proposition to me due to the fact ongoing maintenance of these systems has been historically neglected plus filling in marshlands for development is bad for the environment. What this area needs is smarter development that does not impact or alter the floodplain, not more levees.