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A Bond Bailout Could Plug the Hole In Flood Financing

First, the NFIP needs to start charging coastal residents realistic premiums for flood insurance.

The images from Houston in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are horrific and heartbreaking, with homes fully submerged and residents being rescued by boats and helicopters. And that's just the physical toll.

Many residents of the fourth-largest U.S. city also face financial devastation, because only a small proportion of homeowners have some sort of flood insurance. Those that do have such coverage purchased it from the U.S. government, which runs a woefully underfunded program that'll require additional taxpayer money to remain viable. Meanwhile, insurance companies—while also on the hook for Harvey-related damages—face more containable losses. After all, they mostly just cover wind damage rather than destruction from mass floods, which accounted for the bulk of the damage.

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