Flooded Out

Thousands of homeowners in flood-prone parts of the U.S. saw the cost of their subsidized insurance skyrocket on Oct. 1, as long-awaited reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program kicked in. The federal government has offered below-market insurance since 1968, but the costs of megastorms like Katrina and Sandy have left the plan nearly $30 billion in the red. The changes aim to bring costs closer in line with the actual financial risks posed by frequent floods, but they will also make the federal flood insurance that much more expensive for many people.

Predictably, property owners and politicians from the coast...

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