It also notes that premiums for federal flood insurance "do not fully reflect flood hazards for insured property, leaving the federal government financially exposed to this risk," Bill Lucia reports for Route Fifty. The report says reducing the flood risk of insured properties and/or increasing premiums will mitigate the program's financial shortfalls, but says "structural reforms" to premium rates will also be necessary.
The flood-insurance program has been struggling for years, but because of big spikes in claims paid due to disasters, not a gradual increase. The Federal Emergency Management Agency' "has borrowed about $36 billion from the Treasury to pay claims during disasters over the past 15 years or so. Congress cancelled $16 billion of this 'debt' in 2017, but about $20 billion remains outstanding," Lucia reports.
The report dovetails with recently released scientific research showing that far more U.S. properties are at substantial risk of flooding than FEMA maps indicate, since FEMA maps don't factor in climate change and don't use the most recent data available.