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  • USA: Even as floods worsen with climate change, fewer people insure against disaster
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USA: Even as floods worsen with climate change, fewer people insure against disaster

Source(s):  New York Times, the (NYT)

By Christopher Flavelle

WASHINGTON — Despite years of devastating flooding and hurricanes, the number of Americans with flood insurance remains well below its level a decade ago, undermining the nation’s ability to cope with disasters just as climate change makes them more frequent and severe.

In some of the states hardest-hit by the recent brutal flooding in the Midwest, the number of federal flood insurance policies has dropped by at least one-third since 2011. As a result, in Nebraska, Illinois and Missouri, the share of homes in floodplains that have flood insurance is now 15 percent or less.

The declines have persisted despite a two-year campaign by the Trump administration aimed at doubling the number of Americansinsured against floods, which standard home insurance policies typically don’t cover. That effort has faltered, and officials are now beginning to worry about the disaster after the disaster: What happens as the water recedes, and many people can’t afford to rebuild?

“They think they can gamble and avoid buying flood insurance,” said Paul Osman, chief of state floodplain programs for Illinois. “Low-income folks without a flood policy will likely be forced just to walk away from the damaged home.”

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  • Publication date 08 Jun 2019

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