Several rally to keep government flood program intact

Mississippi Farmland Flooding 2011Record flooding has put Mississippi in a state of disarray. The extent of flood damage is proof enough of the importance of insurance coverage, says the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Mike Chaney. Spurred by the flooding, Chaney is petitioning Congress to renew the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for another 5 years.

Chaney argues that Mississippi residents relying on the program for coverage should not have to worry about their only means of protection disappearing.

Several other Insurance Commissioners from across the country have joined in support of the continuance of NFIP. As it stands, the program will expire in the middle of this year’s hurricane season. While he is certain that Congress will heed the call of the Commissioners, Chaney is urging Mississippi residents to buy coverage ahead of time, just in case.

John LeBrune, a FEMA Mitigation Section Chief, noted the importance of flood insurance as the Mississippi River defied its banks earlier in the month. “I can’t speak the importance high enough of having flood insurance,” he says. As it stands, there are only 75,000 active policies in the state, far fewer than there should be given the prevalence of flood prone areas therein.

Chaney says that flood insurance is relatively inexpensive. However, he is currently working with state Senators to make it even more so. Together with Senators Roger Wicker and Thad Cochran, Chaney is designing a companion program to NFIP that would reduce the overall cost of the program for participants and the federal government.

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