Jun 8, 2019

NYT: Fewer Americans have flood insurance today than 10 years ago

Scott Olson. Photo: Getty Images

Despite an onslaught of extreme weather events that have barraged American homes in recent months and years, the New York Times reports that the number of Americans with flood insurance has dropped during the last decade.

Why it matters: As climate change will only increase the likelihood of floods, insurance rates are expected to surge. Beyond floods, in California, officials have tried to curtail rate bumps in regions at risk of wildfire, and also tried to discourage insurance providers from dropping policyholders.

Details: Nationally, only 1/3 of homes in the floodplain have corresponding insurance, per NYT, and no more than 15% of those in Central states plagued by recent flooding are insured. The bulk of standard home insurance policies don't include flood coverage.

“Low-income folks without a flood policy will likely be forced just to walk away from the damaged home.”
— Paul Osman, Illinois' chief of state floodplain programs, told the NYT

By the numbers: Rates can fluctuate geographically, but within the floodplain specifically, the Times reports that average annual premiums in 2015 came to nearly $1,100, with costs going up from there for those at the highest risk, per FEMA data released last year.

The backdrop: Trump's administration pursued a 2-year campaign in an attempt to double the number of Americans with flood-specific coverage. The U.S. government has offered subsidized flood coverage for nearly 50 years through its National Flood Insurance Program, which provides close to 95% of all residential flood policies nationally, per NYT.

  • However, within the last 10 years, Congress allowed FEMA to hike rates to more closely mirror the risk associated with flooding events.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.