The Federal Emergency Management Agency in the United States has revised its flood maps for the country’s east coast. It is estimated that the changes would require 35,000 households in the New York City area alone to purchase flood insurance.
The new flood maps are in their initial stages, but it seems likely they will form the basis of flood insurance requirements in future.
Unlike the UK, some households in the USA are required by law to take out flood insurance. FEMA has stated that Hurricane Sandy, which damaged and destroyed many homes in the New York and New Jersey areas, has substantially influenced the new flood maps. Traditionally there have been relatively few floods in these areas.
While the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy highlighted the need for landlords building insurance and flood insurance policies, not all households in the US find such cover affordable. For those, the National Flood Insurance Program may offer a solution; a federal program that provides affordable insurance cover for those who are not able to find private cover. Private insurers are often reluctant or unwilling to ensure properties in high risk areas, due to the chance of high pay-outs.
Given the damage caused by recent floods in the UK, would this country benefit from mandatory flood insurance? Or would it be too much of a financial burden on too many households? Feel free to offer your views in the comments section below.