Brandon's Blog

Conservative organizations get it wrong

I’m blogging at 1 in the morning.

If you know me even a little, you know that politically I’m somewhere between conservative and libertarian. Some organizations that I often agree with have gotten an issue wrong that hits home.

Two years ago, congress passed the Biggert – Waters Act which was suppose to make the National Flood Insurance Program more self sustainable. Well as usual, when congress tries to fix something, they often break something else. As a result, people’s flood insurance premiums are about to sky rocket into a range that is unaffordable. The homeowner can’t afford the premium, can’t sell the house because no one would buy it because they can’t afford the premium, and the bank requires flood insurance on a property they are mortgaging. Also our good friends at FEMA who handle the flood maps had a hand in screwing this up.

This issue has been discussed quite often (at least locally) for a while now. There are people out there who know much more about it and explain it much better than I do.

So congress is trying to correct this problem. They are trying to delay the premium hikes so they will at least have time to fix the problem. While it may not be perfect, it’s better than doing nothing. Please urge your congressman and senators to support HR 3370 and S 1926, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013.

There are a number of conservative / libertarian organizations who are usually correct on the issues. But this time, many of them have gotten it wrong.

Club For Growth:

Freedom Works: (which I commented on)

National Taxpayers Union:

Campaign For Liberty:

If they oppose using taxpayer money for NFIP, that’s one thing. But to think that B-W benefits people and will have them paying market rates shows that they completely misundertand the problem and what will happen if B-W goes through as originally written. Quote from the NTU link:

Even with its imperfections, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 provided a solid foundation for better protecting both taxpayers and homeowners from flood-related disasters through measures such as remapping flood zones, introducing actuarially sound coverage rates for at-risk properties, and enhancing incentives for communities to embrace mitigation before incidents occur. Yet, despite the passage of this bill by wide margins (over 400 votes in the House), Congress is preparing to break another promise to taxpayers.

I won’t disagree that the purpose of Biggert Waters was to help save the taxpayer money, but how is this protecting the homeowner? “sound coverage rates?” Talk to anyone whose premiums are going up that they are sound. The CFL entry contains a line “Since the insurance rates are well-below what would be charged in a free-market… the flood program also functions as a form of welfare for the well-to-do.” Maybe the rates are lower than they should be because of the NFIP. But if HR 3370 and S 1926 do not pass and B-W comes into affect, the rates that we will be paying will be much higher than free market rates would be.

I wish we had a free market for flood insurance. But we don’t so we need to do the best we can to make what we have work. And the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act will make things better and not worse.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *