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Lawmakers are working to save the National Flood Insurance Progr - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Lawmakers are working to save the National Flood Insurance Program

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As the National Flood Insurance Program continues to go further into debt Congress is working to fix the issues plaguing the program. 

Lawmakers have until December 8th to reach an agreement to reform the program or it could expire.

One of the biggest issues costing the program a ton of money are properties that flood repetitively.

Homes that have flooded 3 or more times make up just 1 percent of all policies for the program but have received about a quarter of all the money the program has paid out for losses.

Many of those properties are right here in Louisiana.

To ensure that these properties do not get dropped from the program House Majority Whip Steve Scalise cut a deal with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling to protect the grandfather status of these properties. 

Another issue being considered is updating flood maps across the country.

By updating these flood maps to account for rising sea levels and the potential for more extreme rain events that could lead to higher insurance premiums for many homeowners, including a large number here in Acadiana.

The last sticking point that Congress is debating is whether or not to open flood insurance back up to private insurers and allow homeowners more options.

According to Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon "a consultant firm did a study of Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, those 3 states have 56 percent of all the flood policies in place and for our state 70 percent would benefit would get cheaper and better coverage if a true private alternative were welcomed into the market."

KATC will follow this story and let you know what Congress ends up doing with the National Flood Insurance Program in the coming weeks as the deadline approaches.

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