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Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance Releases 2019 Legislative Priorities


MEDIA CONTACT: Hyma Moore | 504.913.0551 |

Priorities Focus on Risk Assessment, Affordability, Mitigation, and Participations

Washington, DC— Today, GNO, Inc.’s Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance released its 2019 legislative priorities for flood insurance reform. Recognizing a new opportunity in 2019 to advance proposals that close America’s flood insurance gap, CSFI seeks to advance reforms to the NFIP that improve risk assessment, ensure affordability, enhance mitigation opportunities, and increase program participation.

GNO, Inc. President and CEO Michael Hecht said: “Flood insurance is an issue for all of America, because if it rains, you can flood.  Our priority is evolving the National Flood Insurance Program so that it is sustainable and affordable, by not only improving the program, but also ensuring that more Americans are protected. We are proud to launch this legislative plan and look forward to working with a broad and diverse group of organizations to pass these important reforms.”

CSFI’s key principles seek to close America’s flood insurance gap:

  • Risk Assessment – Enhancing the way we assess and communicate risk will protect communities and the NFIP over the long-term and help to close America’s flood insurance gap facing. Congress and FEMA should use state of the art technology to accurately and simply communicate flood risk
  •  Affordability – Premiums must remain affordable, and people who played by the rules at the time they built or bought their flood policy should not be penalized
  • Mitigation – A comprehensive approach to reducing flood losses before a disaster occurs is a more effective means to reducing economic loss and protecting taxpayers interests. Federal, state, and local governments should prioritize investments in mitigation, as should home and business owners
  • Participation – Adopting policies that encourage more people to carry flood insurance will ensure a greater understanding of flood risk and that individuals and communities recover more quickly and fully following a flood event

GNO, Inc. founded the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance in 2013 during the implementation of Biggert-Waters, when the combination of the removal of grandfathering and the release of new flood maps projected a dramatic increase of flood insurance premiums in coastal and riverine communities across America. In the past, the coalition has worked with over 250 organizations across the country. Today’s launch seeks to re-engage those organizations as well as to reach out to other organizations who are interested in ensuring flood insurance is sustainable and affordable.

CSFI coalition members expressed support for affordable, sustainable flood insurance, and CSFI’s work:

Chair of the Massachusetts Coastal Coalition Joe Rossi said: “I’m thrilled that CSFI is taking another leadership role in moving the much needed reform of the NFIP forward. In Massachusetts and New England, affordability and sustainability of a flood insurance market are critical to protecting our stakeholders and closing the flood insurance gap.  CSFI pioneered these efforts in the past, and has a demonstrated leading voice in Congress by bringing national stakeholders together.”

Jefferson Parish President Michael Yenni said: “All of us in Jefferson Parish and South Louisiana know all too well the emotional and financial impact of floodwaters,” said President Michael Yenni, Jefferson Parish. “I have and will continue to address flood protection, drainage and flood mitigation as a top priority. The work we did with federal leaders toward developing new flood maps has already resulted in savings in flood insurance premiums for many. Regardless of our efforts to turn the tide on flooding, those of us who live in Jefferson Parish should maintain flood insurance to protect property from unexpected flood events.”

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said: “The City of New Orleans is investing billions of dollars to improve infrastructure, reduce flooding, and ensure resilience. But, because of climate and topography, flooding is an unavoidable reality for our people. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. We encourage our residents to protect themselves and their property through the National Flood Insurance Program. Sustainable, affordable flood insurance is of vital importance— and we have to make it a priority.”

Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine said: “As a coastal community, it is critical that homeowners and businesses in Plaquemines Parish have access to affordable and sustainable flood insurance. Flooding is the most common natural disaster and our community knows first-hand the devastation caused by flooding. We must be afforded the opportunity to protect our assets; the inability to do so puts our community at risk and is a deterrent to those individuals and businesses who wish to invest in Plaquemines Parish.”

St. Bernard Parish President Guy McInnis said: “The continued revitalization of St Bernard Parish depends on affordable flood insurance. Our working coast/seafood industry provides over $4B worth of economic impact to our nation and provides approximately 30% of energy to the eastern seaboard during the winter months. Coastal communities matter!”

St. Charles Parish President Larry Cochran said: “Businesses are investing billions of dollars in St. Charles Parish and the River Region, employing thousands of residents from all over Southeast Louisiana” said Parish President Larry Cochran. “An affordable, long-term solution to flood insurance is essential if we want maintain this economic momentum that deeply impacts the entire State of Louisiana.”

St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel said: “Affordable, available flood insurance is critical for St. James Parish, especially as our parish grows to accommodate new job opportunities.  We look forward to working with the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance and our Congressional delegation to implement these priorities.”

St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom said: “It is imperative that we secure a long-term plan for affordable and sustainable flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Although necessary for millions of Americans to maintain or secure flood insurance, short-term extensions delayed work toward a permanent solution. Residents of St. John the Baptist Parish and those across the country, fear the effects of disastrous hurricanes an inland flooding and its impact to their homes and businesses without the NFIP. They are depending on us and we owe them our best effort in creating an affordable, effective flood insurance program.”

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said: “Flood insurance that is affordable and sustainable is critical for any community that might face a catastrophic flooding event, because it is part of the foundation of resiliency. For families, it can mean the difference between starting over with hope for those who have it, and hopelessly trying to start over for those who do not. In truth, any community who has ever had, or will ever have rain is at risk for flooding, and so this brings home the need to have an affordable product that will remain accessible over the long-term.”

About CSFI: Founded in 2013, CSFI grew to be a national coalition representing a diverse group of industries, business and civic organizations, city and municipal governments, and concerned citizens, all advocating to keep flood insurance sustainable and affordable.  CSFI was a driving force behind the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.