Flood insurance may not be adequate safety net for New Yorkers
New York is no stranger to hurricanes and flooding disasters, but the recent onslaught of Hurricane Sandy has sparked new action when it comes to the matter of flood insurance and protection for state residents. Hurricane Sandy dealt a terrible toll to the state, causing a significant amount of damage from strong winds and, primarily, flooding. Many homeowners throughout the state that were affected by the storm found that their properties were not protected from flood damage due to their lack of adequate flood insurance protection. Because this was such a widespread problem, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg aims to establish a new safety net that could protect victims of future disasters.
Plan calls for aggressive action to mitigate floods
Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a new $20 billion plan that aims to build new flood barriers and other such structures in order to protect various parts of the city. The plan was issued to state lawmakers and includes some 250 recommendations concerning the structures that should be built to protect consumers. Mayor Bloomberg notes that not all homeowners have flood insurance coverage and suggests that it is unreasonable to expect victims to pay for coverage that they might not be able to afford to protect against disasters that they cannot control.
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Climate change cited as significant threat
Oncoming storms are not the most significant concerns that Mayor Bloomberg has, however, as the Mayor’s plan also draws attention to the issue of climate change. Bloomberg cites environmental scientists in his plan who suggest that sea levels are predicted to rise by as much as 31 inches by 2050. This would be disastrous for those near the coast as they would see their homes become swallowed by the ocean. The problems caused by rising sea levels would be exacerbated by severe hurricanes that would come along in the future.
Flood insurance continues to be a rarity in the US
Flood insurance remains relatively rare throughout the U.S. despite the examples set by powerful storms in the past, such as Hurricane Sandy. One of the reasons for this may be simply due to a lack of awareness among consumers. Flood insurance is a matter for the federal government and is almost exclusively found through the National Flood Insurance Program. The federal government does not often market the program as aggressively as private insurance companies market their own policies.