Monday, February 27, 2006

Mandatory Flood Insurance?

This article from the Bee on Tuesday February 21, 2006, concerns mandatory flood insurance.

Hmmm, mandatory flood insurance for the entire Sacramento region when only about 130 properties are designated as problematic? And I saw no mention of flood insurance for the parkway, which floods virtually every year the rainfall is a little above normal, causing damage that taxpayers pay for.

Here is an excerpt.

Bill opens flood debate
It would require most Sacramentans to buy insurance coverage.
By Jim Sanders -- Bee Capitol Bureau Published 2:15 am PST Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Virtually every Sacramento home or business owner, and hundreds of thousands statewide, would be required to buy federal flood insurance under a new legislative proposal.

Assemblyman Dave Jones, who is pushing the measure, said the potential for disaster in a flood-prone area like the Central Valley was demonstrated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, which devastated Louisiana and neighboring states.

"They lost their property, they lost their household possessions, they lost their homes," said Jones, D-Sacramento. "We believe it's absolutely critical that people get insurance."

Assembly Bill 1898 is a key element in a package of measures designed to improve flood protection in the Central Valley and other low-lying areas.

Jones said the bill could pay dividends in helping persuade other legislators to invest billions in flood-control improvements.

"Why is someone in Los Angeles going to vote to spend billions of dollars in the Sacramento area if they don't know at the same time that we're doing things here to mitigate risk?" he asked.

But critics say homeowners should decide for themselves what level of financial risk to take from natural disasters.

"As a matter of policy, we never like mandatory insurance," said Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

State Sen. Dave Cox agreed.

"I think the people I represent would look at this, by and large, as just another intrusion," said Cox, R-Fair Oaks.

Jones' bill would expand on a federal law requiring flood insurance for structures within a 100-year floodplain, defined as an area likely to be inundated by a severe storm with a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

AB 1898 would create a similar mandate for levee-protected property within an even wider area, the 200-year floodplain.

Much of the Central Valley would be affected by Jones' bill.