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NY Governor Requests Retroactive Coverage for Flood, Crop

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo thinks that residents of his state should be able to retroactively purchase flood and crop insurance. Cuomo sent letters...
September 13, 2011

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo thinks that residents of his state should be able to retroactively purchase flood and crop insurance. Cuomo sent letters to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate requesting waivers to allow homeowners, businesses and farmers to retroactively enroll in federal flood insurance and crop insurance programs. If granted, the waivers would allow New York farmers to receive financial assistance to support rehabilitation and recovery efforts in Hurricane Irene's aftermath, and would permit homeowners and small businesses to access the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In his letter, Cuomo specifically says that this storm was "an anomaly." Isn't that one of the reasons people purchase insurance?

If people are allowed to buy insurance retroactively after natural disasters, what is the motivation for them to buy insurance in the first place? It would be like allowing people to purchase auto insurance after they've had an accident, and have it cover the accident. And it would further undermine the finances of the crop and flood insurance programs. If uninsured farmers and homeowners need disaster recovery assistance, it is better to call it what it is: a request for federal assistance. There is no such thing as "retroactive insurance" and encouraging people to think in those terms is dangerous for our industry.

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