Few coverages are more important than flood insurance. Whether it is storm surge from a hurricane, rising rivers, torrential rains, or broken levees, floods occur in every part of the United States. Unfortunately, as most people know, flood insurance is difficult to find. Since most private insurers specifically exclude flood from coverage, the majority of flood coverage is purchased from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is instituted and administrated by the federal government. Unfortunately this vital program has been short on funding for years, leaving many to wonder if the program can survive.
Temporary fixes have been proposed and passed by Congress that have allowed the Program to continue until now. The current extension is set to expire December 16, and Washington is again scrambling to find a solution.
Currently, a bill proposed by Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) seeks to extend the Program until September 8, 2012. This would be the 13th short term fix passed by Congress since 2002.
Flood insurance is a necessary coverage for homeowners, condominium unit owners, and associations alike. Some of the most devastating losses occur as a result of unexpected flooding and a lapse in coverage can lead to large assessments. Associations and unit owners should speak to their agents and brokers now to ensure that their flood coverage is current. Associations, especially in flood prone areas, should also look into getting excess flood coverage from the private market if possible.