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Southwest Florida homeowners could be at risk if National Flood Insurance Program expires

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Published: Updated:

If you haven’t looked at your flood insurance in a while – you’d better check.

Damage from Hurricane Irma left many homeowners in ruin. And if congress doesn’t do something. The National Flood Insurance Program will end in just two weeks.

Jeff East from Allstate Insurance says, “We’re all in a flood zone. It’s weather your a high risk, moderate risk, or low risk. We’re all in a flood zone.”

It is for this reason East says 25 percent of insurance claims are made in areas that are considered low risk flood zones.

Now, if congress doesn’t extend the National Flood Insurance Program, homeowners like Estero Homeowner Justin Paulauskis could be put at higher risk, “Well it’s absolutely shocking to think that we won’t have the funding to to make sure that residents like us are taken care of,”¬†Paulauskis said.

He’s is one of thousands who live in areas not considered the highest risk- based off of the map from 2012.

But he is still prepared with insurance, “Luckily we didn’t get nearly those levels, but if something did come through this area it would absolutely devastate us.”

East says the best plan of action is to get insurance coverage today as we head further into hurricane season.

If NFIP lapses, people who do not have flood insurance will only be able to purchase private insurance, but East says not every home is eligible for private insurance.

Those that may not qualify include mobile homes, and properties that have experienced flood damage in the last five years.

East believes there is only one real solution for congress, “Every few months over the last few years they’ve basically had to extend that program because it is in serious debt… The only way to really get that debt to go from being in the red to being in the black is to get more people as part of the program.”