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The Cost of Flood Insurance Is a Price Worth Paying

Hours before it was set to expire, Congress reauthorized the National Flood Insurance Program. That’s a good thing: Despite its many problems, America needs it now more than ever.
A building and street signs in Tarboro, North Carolina, are reflected in flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew on October 13, 2016.
A building and street signs in Tarboro, North Carolina, are reflected in flood waters in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew on October 13, 2016.Jonathan Drake/Reuters

Almost 75 percent of declared disasters in the United States are flood-related, and flood risk continues to rise due to development in floodplains and a changing climate. The beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was due to expire on July 31 but just got a four-month extension from Congress, can help lessen some of that risk and serve as a lifeline for survivors.

However, in reauthorizing the program, Congress did not fix its many problems. The need to make the NFIP more effective is urgent. And as America’s flood risk grows, we will be even more reliant on it.