With the recent devastation of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has incurred significant additional debt. Many parties have been calling for reform of the NFIP and for more private insurer involvement in flood insurance, and are redoubling their efforts in light of the hurricanes. New York partner Tom Dawson discussed these issues in four recent news articles: one in Intelligent Insurer, two in Business Insurance and one in Insurance Day.
- In the Intelligent Insurer article, “European Reinsurers Will Benefit if NFIP Buys More Cover,” Tom discusses how the opening up of the U.S. flood market is a potential growth opportunity for global reinsurers and suggests ways that Congress could reform the NFIP.
- In the first Business Insurance article, “Struggling NFIP staggers under Harvey,” Tom examines the unknown additional amount of debt Hurricane Harvey will create for the NFIP.
- In the second Business Insurance article, “NFIP Reform Highlights Political Divisions,” Tom discusses the challenges of reforming the NFIP, including the unsuccessful effort to allow private flood insurance coverage to stand in for government-provided insurance under the mandatory purchase requirement.
- Tom is also the author of the Insurance Day article “Mind the Gap: A Lesson from Harvey.” He explains that in order to improve post-cat event “resiliency” the country needs higher take-up of appropriate property insurance, not just NFIP reform. He describes the “re/insurance gap” and urges industry leaders to work to close it, offering several suggestions on how to approach the problem. Tom explains, “We need coordinated federal and state legislation and a tremendous public education effort to change the national mindset about catastrophe insurance. We don’t need more NFIP band aids. And re/insurance industry leaders have a critical role to play.”