Sen. Carper Considers Ways to Improve the National Flood Insurance Program

Witnesses Discuss Strengths, Weaknesses, In Advance of Flood Program Reauthorization

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) today chaired a hearing of the Senate Banking Committee to examine strengths and weaknesses of the National Flood Insurance Program designed to help Americans when property is destroyed, as during the destructive 2005 hurricane season. The goal, he explained, was to reform the program to make it more financially sound and sustainable for years to come.
The National Flood Insurance Program was established in 1968. It provides subsidized insurance covering flood damage to more than five million property owners in the United States, including more than 22,000 property owners in Delaware.
By law, homeowners must participate in the program if their property stands in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area, such as the Delaware beaches. Sen. Carper and the banking committee have begun examining the program because it is set to expire next year and must be reauthorized.
“The National Flood Insurance Program has helped hundreds of thousands of homeowners cope with the damaging effects of floods caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters, including those that threaten Delaware’s coastline” Sen. Carper said. “We in Congress must make sure that the National Flood Insurance Program is operating at peak performance levels, and make necessary changes to ensure the program remains sustainable and effective as an important component of our nation’s overall health and ability to respond to natural disasters.”
Banking Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) invited Sen. Carper to chair this hearing because Sen. Carper is chairman of the subcommittee on economic policy, which oversees flood insurance issues.
Witnesses today, including representatives from the Government Accountability Office, insurance companies and state emergency management agencies, testified to the program’s successes and weaknesses, and explored areas for improvement.