Some of these homes can’t find the money for repairs.
What happens to the neighborhood?
After a flood, property owners benefit from flood insurance. We get cash for our losses. The money comes faster than federal disaster assistance (usually a loan anyway). And quick repairs maintain the value of our property.
But not every owner with a home or business in the 100-year floodplain buys flood insurance; it’s probably about half nationally. So who loses? Our uninsured neighbors, of course, who must raid savings to make repairs – or simply can’t find the money. But what about those who have flood insurance? What happens to our home’s worth when the house down the street smells of mold? To our shop’s traffic when the business next door is boarded up? To our town’s tax base? And to local economic activity when many residents suddenly have to cut back their spending?
A new concept, community flood insurance, may provide protection. A recent study suggests that such a policy, negotiated with private insurers, could encourage widespread coverage, essentially preserving not just individual properties but the value and prosperity of the neighborhood.