**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**

Date: July 25th, 2018

 

Contact: Jayden Lapin, jayden@marathonstrategies.com, 646-205-7736

 

NEW REPORT FINDS OVER 90 PERCENT OF HOMES IN NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK COULD SEE CHEAPER PREMIUMS WITH PRIVATE FLOOD INSURANCE

Independent Analysis Conducted by Researchers at Milliman and Risk Management Solutions Further Proves that Congressional Reform to Flood Insurance Landscape Could Benefit Homeowners

WASHINGTON, D.C.­ — A report released yesterday on the flood insurance marketplace conducted by Milliman and Risk Management Solutions, “What could private flood insurance look like in New Jersey and New York?” reaffirms that reforming the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could greatly benefit homeowners.

The study projects that over 90 percent of homes in New Jersey and New York could see cheaper premiums with private flood insurance compared to similar NFIP policies; even in high-risk areas, 85 percent of homes in New Jersey and 72 percent in New York could access more affordable coverage in the private market. Key findings reveal that allowing private sector competition in the flood insurance marketplace would ensure more property owners purchase necessary flood coverage and result in cheaper, more widely available flood insurance policies – both critical benefits for at-risk communities in New Jersey and New York. This study further reveals the need for Congress to include a technical clarification to current law to allow borrowers to choose between private flood coverage and the NFIP.

Members of SmarterSafer, a national coalition of environmental groups, taxpayer advocates, insurance stakeholders, housing organizations and mitigation advocates, released the following statements today in response to these new findings. Reporters interested in speaking with researchers from Milliman or Risk Management Solutions, or a member of SmarterSafer should reach out to Jayden Lapin at 646-205-7736.

“Milliman’s analysis clearly shows that private sector entrants to the flood insurance market would expand both access and affordability in New York and New Jersey. Expanded access and affordability would protect more homes and communities against increasingly frequent and catastrophic flooding events,” said David M. Dworkin, President and CEO of the National Housing Conference.

“Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters facing homeowners in New York, New Jersey, and beyond. This study rightly highlights that the National Flood Insurance Program desperately needs reforms that will not only protect homeowners, but also support flood-mitigating natural infrastructure, floodplains, and wildlife habitat. As Congress considers reforming and reauthorizing the NFIP, lawmakers should include legislation proposed by Senators Tester and Heller which would allow more competition in the insurance markets to improve coverage and reduce costs,” said Collin O’Mara, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, America’s largest wildlife conservation organization.

“Millions of American consumers could benefit greatly from affordable, accessible and reliable flood insurance coverage from the private market. Consumers deserve private market options to protect their homes, families and communities,” said John M. Huff, former Director of Insurance for the State of Missouri and now CEO of the Association of Bermuda Insurers & Reinsurers (ABIR). 

“Recent surveys show 41 million Americans are at risk of flooding, more than three times the number reflected in FEMA’s flood maps. To extend protection to all who need it will require leveraging the financial strength and marketing prowess of the private insurance market. The unsustainable NFIP, which has borrowed $40 billion from taxpayers in recent years, will not be able to do it alone,” said R.J. Lehmann, Director of Finance, Insurance and Trade Policy at the R Street Institute.

Last year, Milliman released a report with similar findings for Florida, Louisiana and Texas.

About SmarterSafer.org

SmarterSafer.org is a national coalition that is made up of a diverse chorus of voices united in favor of environmentally responsible, fiscally sound approaches to natural catastrophe policy that promote public safety. The coalition believes that the Federal government has a role in encouraging and helping homeowners to undertake mitigation efforts to safeguard their homes against natural disasters. At the same time, the coalition opposes measures that put people’s lives at risk at the expense of taxpayers. Measures such as subsidizing artificially low rates for homeowners’ insurance policies help to encourage construction in environmentally sensitive and unsafe areas. The coalition is working to ensure that Congress does not incentivize people to live in harm’s way in places prone to hurricanes and floods.