Obama Opposes Adding Wind Coverage to Federal Flood Insurance

July 22, 2010

The Obama Administration is again opposing a move to add wind insurance to the federal flood insurance program, as has been pushed by Rep. Gene Taylor, D.-Miss.

A statement from the Office of Management and Budget says Taylor’s bill, HR 1264, would unnecessarily expand the government’s role into an insurance area already served by private insurers.

“Although the Administration believes in strengthening the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the benefit of policyholders and taxpayers, the central rationale for the program – the difficulty of obtaining flood insurance through either the private market or state programs – simply does not apply to windstorm insurance in most markets,” the OMB said.

OMB also said that because the legislation requires that a federal wind insurance program be actuarially sound, the insurance offered through a federal program may not be any less expensive, and could be more expensive, than what is currently offered by private insurers or by states.

“As a result, expanding NFIP to cover windstorm insurance would unnecessarily duplicate available insurance products and could ‘crowd out” such products where they are offered, while offering little to no savings to the American public. At a time when the NFIP is already facing serious challenges, the Administration cannot support such an expansion.”

The Obama Administration has opposed the wind insurance bill in the past as have various taxpayer, environmental and insurance groups. The measure is being reconsidered this week in Congress.

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