2008-05-16 / Top Stories

Clinton Praises Passage Of Flood Insurance Bill

"I am pleased that the Senate has come together in a bipartisan manner to do the right thing for Americans who face the tragic effects of flood damage in their homes and communities," Senator Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday, in response to the passage of a bill that would guarantee more that 140,000 New Yorkers will be covered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). "Today's action is an important step in ensuring that this protection remains intact."

Clinton added, "In recent years flooding has devastated numerous communities across New York causing severe property damage, and in some tragic instances, the loss of life. The cost of flooding is not only felt by the counties and towns, it is also felt by families and individuals who, in the wake of the recovery, often bear a huge financial and emotional burden. The reforms of the NFIP included in this bill will help ensure New Yorkers and all Americans understand the risks of flooding, wherever they live, and take steps to prepare for future disasters. The provision that requires the modernization of flood maps will enable states to accurately and thoroughly assess the dangers posed by flooding in different communities, enabling people living in high risk areas to be adequately insured. I am particularly pleased that my amendment with Senator Menendez (D-NJ), requiring FEMA to notify, educate, and fully inform homeowners of their options after their neighborhoods are placed in a flood zone after remapping, was included in this legislation.

"Nevertheless, I am disappointed that the Senate missed an opportunity

to address the

availability and affordability of catastrophic insurance, which is an issue that affects thousands of New Yorkers and millions of Americans throughout the country. My amendment with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL), which would have established a practical solution to this problem by transferring catastrophe insurance risk to the private market while ensuring that homeowners took steps to mitigate their weather related damages, was not considered. And another proposal to allow homeowners to buy hurricane insurance through the NFIP was rejected. With more private insurers pulling up stakes out of entire markets and millions of homeowners facing the Catch-22 of sky high insurance premiums or no insurance at all, we need to look at new ways to enable responsible homeowners to take steps to ensure that their homes and their families will be covered in the event of a disaster."

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