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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:51 PM

Can somebody answer my question about the "Hurricane Sandy vote" yesterday?

Was that not just to make sure that the people who paid their premiums for
federal flood insurance will get paid? And if so how could anybody vote against
it?

Thank you have some guacamole and some chips.

20 replies, 1458 views

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Arrow 20 replies Author Time Post
Reply Can somebody answer my question about the "Hurricane Sandy vote" yesterday? (Original post)
Botany Jan 2013 OP
PoliticAverse Jan 2013 #1
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #2
lynne Jan 2013 #15
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #16
lynne Jan 2013 #17
Walk away Jan 2013 #3
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #5
Walk away Jan 2013 #6
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #8
Walk away Jan 2013 #9
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #10
Walk away Jan 2013 #11
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #12
Walk away Jan 2013 #13
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #14
Walk away Jan 2013 #19
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #20
Sekhmets Daughter Jan 2013 #4
Igel Jan 2013 #7
lynne Jan 2013 #18

Response to Botany (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:57 PM

1. Yes, it just increased the borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program

from $20,725,000,000 to $30,425,000,000.

The bill is extremely short (1 page). You can read it here:

HTML/Text: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c113:2:./temp/~c113r72Mop::
.pdf: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-113hr41enr/pdf/BILLS-113hr41enr.pdf

Thomas page for the bill:
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d113:h.r.00041:

Vote on the bill:
http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2013/roll007.xml

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:10 PM

2. Yes...

But the rethugs object to the whole government insurance thingy. You can't just buy flood insurance, you have to own property or rent property in a "flood plain" to get the federally backed flood insurance and it is very reasonably priced. The low price is why it is always running out of money. Regular homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding...although, years ago it did. Insurers dropped it because it bites into profits.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:52 PM

15. You do not have to be in a flood zone to buy flood insurance -

- as long as your community participates in NFIP, you may purchase a policy for any home you live in, dwelling you own, or contents in a home/apartment you rent even if not located in a designated flood zone. If you own property in a flood zone and have a mortgage, your lender will require you carry flood coverage as part of the loan contract, naming the lender as mortgagee. If you own property in a flood zone but have no lien, you can choose to carry the coverage - or not - at your option. If you are a renter, you can purchase a flood policy to cover your contents only.

The coverage is divided between dwelling and contents. Adding contents coverage will generate an additional premium. The NFIP website estimates the average annual premium at $600. This premium would be in addition to any other homeowners coverage you carry.

Although Wikipedia states that homeowners policies once included flood, in 30+ years of insurance industry work I've seen no such contract nor have heard of one. The policies of today were standardized in the early 1970's based on the 165 lines of the Standard NY Fire Policy, which did not include coverage for flood or wind driven rain.

The NFIP website is a good one and anyone needing information regarding flood coverage should refer to it.

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Response to lynne (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:57 PM

16. Will your community

participate if it is not prone to flooding?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #16)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:03 PM

17. You can check to see if your community participates on the NFIP website -

- but, yes, communities do participate even if not prone to flooding. In many cases, a community will have a mix of areas, some that are prone and some that are not. In my case, I live in a lakeside community with a dam. However, my house is on a large hill and away from the lake so my individual risk of flooding is minimal but my entire community participates.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:10 PM

3. I think it is because repumplicans think federal flood insurance is "broken"

I'm no expert but I think that private insurance companies won't insure coast lines for flooding because all it takes is a Sandy to wipe out their underwriter in one fell swoop.
That means that no one can build or sell a house on the coast line because you can't get a mortgage without flood insurance so we have been providing this federal insurance for risk areas like this. Sure enough, the money paid in is never enough to cover the losses because it's all risk.
I think the big idea is to stop insuring new development (and in some cases rebuilding) in areas that have a history of costly disasters. In some areas, here in NJ, houses have been rebuilt two or three times in the same place and continue to get insurance. It's tricky but.....if the house wants to change the rules or set limits THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO DO IT! NOW IS THE TIME TO PAY THE MONEY! Maybe if they did anything besides constantly vote against Obama Care they could have made this something to deal with before a disaster.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:12 PM

5. That was the idea years ago...it has never worked.

And it's not just coastal states....rivers flood pretty routinely as well.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:41 PM

6. In fact it's the rivers near in my area that keeps flooding the same homes...

over and over again. Federal flood insurance keeps paying out to rebuild or repair. By now they could have bought out the neighborhood and moved it someplace dry for half the $$$.
My experience is strictly anecdotal but the whole things could stand some work. Unfortunately the pukes won't work on anything. They just want to defund and destroy.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:57 PM

8. Neither do the Dems...

but for different reasons. The pukes would end the NFIP with the hope of forcing middle class Americans out of their waterfront property...said property would then be taken over by the rich. The Dems would prefer to have at least some waterfront property remain in the hands of middle class homeowners...like most of those on the NJ. shore.

Back in the mid 1990s we took our kids and another couple through the FL keys on a houseboat. Along the route we passed a few trailer parks right on the water. The other wife was quite upset that such valuable waterfront property was being "wasted" ... her exact wording... on people who couldn't afford to put up "real houses". I asked her if she meant that middle class Americans had no right to enjoy the beauties of living so close to the water....Her response? They hadn't earned it.

So while I can certainly appreciate your thinking on the matter, I would never favor anything that moved people out of their homes without turning the property into federally protected wetlands, upon which nothing can be built. Republicans would never back such a program.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:17 PM

9. First of all, most of the property along the New Jersey coast...

is mostly a combination of million dollar homes, upper middle class vacation homes and expensive middle class housing. When you move people off of their ocean front property in NJ you are moving millionaires as well as the middle class. Most of the poor and working class were shifted off decades ago. Bungalows on the beach start at a million and go way up.
Right now the Jersey Shore is mostly private beaches. Even though my tax dollars go to keeping the beaches from washing away, I can't use the beach unless I pay for the privilege and in some cases not at all.
The plan is to not build anything on this property but to return the coast to all of the people of NJ and not just the wealthy and well off. To make the Jersey Shore a State Park would be wonderful for all of the tax payers in the state, the economy, the environment and everyone except the really wealthy who can afford beach front.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:20 PM

10. Do you live in NJ?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:30 PM

11. I have lived here my entire life and I have many family members down...

the shore as well as friends. I was just down at a friend's house cleaning out their basement a few days ago. Many of my friend's and clients have repair work to do on their vacation homes and my cousin was lucky enough to have just sold his 2 bedroom beach front home for over $2,000,000 and move two blocks inland where he had no damage and paid half that price for a larger home. NJ tax payers pay a lot of money to keep those beaches in place.

Do you live here?

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Response to Walk away (Reply #11)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:05 PM

12. Lived there for 16 years...spent a lot of time on public beaches.

Grew up in Brooklyn, NY spent a lot of time on public beaches there as well. I moved from NJ 25 years ago... I'm in FL now...where inland homeowners pick up part of the tab for the roofs on Palm Beach Mansions.

When I lived in NJ, there were still many homes that were modest bungalows people lived in year round. Vacation homes were even more modest. The flood insurance will also go to repair the businesses that were flooded out.

I will admit to being amused by the "poor" marina owner who received such a big hug from Obama.... So perhaps the solution is to charge these expensive homes much more for their flood insurance...bring them more in line with what they would pay a private insurer. Of course, someone will, no doubt, say that is discriminatory, thus unconstitutional.

NJ taxpayers pay a lot of money for a life style that is considerably better than that enjoyed by most residents of most other states. There is a price to be paid for being a bedroom community of NYC. Your public education and transportation are much better than here in FL. We have nothing comparable to Broadway, 5th Avenue, MOMA, The Museum of Natural History and the countless other museums and galleries. The minimum wage here is $7.79 an hour and an inordinate number of jobs here are minimum wage or just slightly above.

I've lived in VA and PA as well. I can tell you this...the price you pay to live in NJ is worth every penny.

Turning most of the Jersey shore into Public property would indeed be wonderful...but what would make up for the lost state revenue?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #12)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:20 PM

13. Since we already pay to keep up the beaches and there is plenty of property to develope...

inland from the beach, why would we lose revenue? The beaches would still be there and the restaurants and hotels would still be there. More people would be able to enjoy them. There would still be arcades and Ferris Wheels and concert venues. The only thing difference would be that a whole bunch of 10%ers wouldn't have a monopoly on the beaches and we wouldn't have to rebuild there houses over and over again with tax money. They would have to move a few blocks in with the rest of the world.
Anyone who is middle class would get paid out as well and relocate inland as well. Most of the area a few miles west of the shore is still farm land.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #13)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:30 PM

14. So you think that the property taxes

would remain the same? Or is it that you don't think those homes provide much revenue? I'd be interested in knowing what the property taxes paid by those 10%ers totaled.

Has anyone in the legislature proposed what you have suggested?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:48 PM

19. They can pay their taxes on houses two blocks from the beach.

The Shore should be for everyone.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:31 AM

20. Obviously...

But will those taxes two blocks from the beach be as high? I doubt it. Look, I'm not the enemy here and neither are those people who bought those homes, most with huge mortgages and big tax bills. The enemy is the state and townships that allowed the development of that shore property in the first place.

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:10 PM

4. Oh, and thanks it looks delicious! n/t

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Response to Botany (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 03:55 PM

7. Two questions, one answer

1. Probably not entirely a pure "yes." It allows an increase in borrowing for pending claims.

I'm not going to assume that all the pending claims are valid. It's facile to do so, but it's proven false in every other emergency. It allows borrowing to cover any approved claims. The inherent risk--in Sandy as with Ike and Katrina--is that there'll be such a rush to approve claims because, well, think of the children, that nobody'll pay close attention to the claims. Then, when the dust settles, there are millions of dollars of bogus claims that constitute a political and ideological problem.

Take Katrina. Some of the bogus claims came from the poor. Then there were two alternatives--let them keep the money, because, well, fraud while in poverty is fine and merits being rewarded; or sue the pants off of them when they'd already disposed of the money and had no chance of repaying it.

2. How could somebody vote against it?

Perhaps because it wasn't an emergency, but was declared one for the purposes of avoiding pay-go requirements. It's a standard trick. You know that you'll need to pass a bill in the next 3 months, but do nothing until the last minute when it's an emergency. Obama called the same kind of thing with the fiscal cliff a "manufactured emergency." And when the debt ceiling crunch happens in a couple of months, you can be guaranteed that it'll be another manufactured emergency. Some people don't like having an emergency manufactured and foisted on them, even if it is one of the primary things still made in America.

Perhaps because it is an explicit authorization to increase the national debt without any deficit reduction measures and having increased the national debt on 1/4 it'll be harder to argue in March that it's immoral to do the same thing again? The bill raised the debt ceiling.

Perhaps because the law that it rests on is blatantly misleading. It requires that a repayment plan be forwarded to the Treasury dept. (and others) as soon as any funds are borrowed. But the amount has increased from 1.5 billion upwards with every disaster. The law requires that the head of the agency certify as true something that is palpably false. Moreover, it requires that every 6 months a report on the repayment of such funds be forwarded to a variety of people. That must be a hoot--if the head of the agency even bothers with it any more. So many other bureaucratic deadlines are routinely missed why should that be any different? (The law needs to be rewritten, and the fiction that the program is self-funded ended. It's not and Congress should man up and either fund it, discontinue it, or require that it really be self-funded and the debt repaid over, say, a 10-year period. Come hell and the inevitable high water.)

Perhaps because it all but guarantees more debt in the future. They'll rebuild right where they were, in a flood-prone area. Every time there's a flood there's debate about whether to make people move. We've relocated people a few times--but usually they're from a small town and the entire town is relocated and there's no ideological reason to not inconvenience them. For the most part the nation lacks the will to engage in longer-term planning, i.e., to clear out flood plains and make sure that people don't knowingly build in what will probably amount to a 20-year flood plain.

Maybe they're mean-spirited bastards. Or maybe they beiieved that this should have been included in a package that included things they really won't like, so that this could be part of the mutual hostage taking. Or maybe they assume that because this passed there'll be less urgency in passing other required legislation. I assume that at some point some said, so there's less need for speculation than usual.

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Response to Igel (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 09:30 PM

18. With respect to your #1 regarding validity of claims -

- you are right but there's another factor to consider and that is the determination of the reason for the claim.

Damage by flood= Covered by flood policy.
Damage by wind = Covered by homeowners policy.
Initial damage by wind which allowed water (usually rain) to enter = Both the wind and the water damage is covered under the homeowners as the primary cause of loss - wind - is a named peril. The secondary loss - water - occurred as a result of the primary loss. An example would be a roof blown off during a storm allowing the rain to enter.
Split Loss = The homes that have both types of damage - wind and flood. That's where it gets really tricky as you have to determine the amount of damage caused by each type loss and the homeowner and flood policies would be responsible for their respective damage.

When there is a Catastrophic Loss - which is what insurance companies will consider this storm - a company will determine their "reserve". The reserve is their worst-case financial scenario, how much they'll need if they have to pay 100% of policy value to every policyholder impacted by the storm.

As you can see, given the numerous factors involved in determining which company is responsible for what portion of the loss, it is quite unlikely that the true amount of claim will come up to the reserve amount. However, I would think that NFIP must put into motion a way to achieve that reserve amount even though it is unlikely to be a realistic figure.

Some claims may not be valid simply due to cause of loss - be it wind or flood - and it will take months before this can be determined. In the interim, both the insurance companies and NFIP must be prepared to pay out their entire estimated reserve.


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