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Harvey Flood Losses Could Top $11 Billion

The head of the National Flood Insurance Program said early estimates show Hurricane Harvey will result in about $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in southeast Texas, according to the Associated Press...
September 20, 2017

The head of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) said early estimates show Hurricane Harvey will result in about $11 billion in payouts to insured homeowners, mostly in southeast Texas, according to the Associated Press.

That would likely put Harvey as the second costliest storm in the history of the federal insurance program, said Roy E. Wright, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation. More than $16 billion was paid out after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

It is still too soon to estimate losses from Hurricane Irma, Wright said. But he predicted that the storm damage in Florida and other affected states could rival the nearly $9 billion paid out after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Wright said uninsured homeowners around the country should learn from what is happening in Houston and other flood-ravaged parts of the country and seriously weigh whether they should buy a policy.

“Collectively, we need more people covered,” Wright said. “We have to get beyond this conversation about what I have to do and what I’m mandated to do, and put folks in an educated position by which they are making a back-pocket economic decision.”

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