A NEW report on the bankrupt federal flood insurance program illustrates — yet again — why the program is a black hole for taxpayer dollars.
The inspector general’s office of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security examined properties that have repeatedly flooded, triggering multiple federal flood insurance claims. These “repetitive loss” properties — many of which are located along the Gulf Coast in Alabama and Mississippi — have played a key role in driving the federal program more than $17 billion into debt.
In 2004, Congress tried to reduce the number of repeat claims by setting aside money to help homeowners in high-risk areas either elevate their houses or move to higher ground. The law was supposed to impose higher premiums on those who remained in flood-prone locations and didn’t elevate their houses.