National Flood Insurance Program nears November expiration affecting Floridians

If a storm strikes Southwest Florida, homes along the water in Cape Coral could see severe flooding. Right now, they would be covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, but it could go away in fourteen days.

The National Flood Insurance Program is set to expire at the end of November.

“I couldn’t sleep at night if I didn’t have flood insurance,” Patricia Justice said.

Justice knows how important it is to make sure her Cape Coral him is covered.

“I wouldn’t want a hurricane to come and wipe my house out,” Justice said.

But the expiration of the flood insurance program could make it hard for homeowners like her to receive coverage.

Bryce Grimsley is an insurance agent in Cape Coral. Grimsley said, losing the federal flood insurance program would be a major issue for Southwest Florida and place like the Cape.

“It’d be more of an issue for older homes or houses on the water,” Grimsley said.

On Thursday, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill before Congress to reauthorize the program for six months.

“The National Flood Insurance Program is critically important to my home state of Florida,” Rubio said in his statement. “It is extremely unfortunate that another extension is needed, but it is imperative that Congress does not allow the program to lapse. Floridians cannot afford that kind of uncertainty. I urge leadership to bring this up for a vote as soon as possible, and look forward to continued work with my colleagues on bipartisan reforms to ensure the program is affordable and sustainable.” 

A lot of money from the national flood insurance program goes to Florida. With the program ending, this would mean more money out of homeowners’ pockets. Policy holders in the sunshine state collected more than $17 million between October 2015 and September 2016, per the most recent data.

With recent major storms like Hurricane Michael, experts like Grimsley said the federal program could be cashing out more than it can afford.

“They suffer more losses, which is part of the problem with the flood problem,” Grimsley said. “They’ve had huge loses not only in this area but in other areas of the country.”

 

 

 

Reporter:Brooke Shafer
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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