The Flood Insurance Purchase Requirement

Here’s an interesting bit of flood insurance news. On May 24th, the Federal Reserve Board issued an order to SunTrust Bank for violations of the National Flood Insurance Act. The order itself does not provide a lot of detail, and I have no inside information, but I can only assume SunTrust was extending loans for property in the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) without enforcing the flood insurance requirement, mandated by statute. This type of adjudicatory order is rather rare, but here are two examples from the Comptroller of the Currency, both from 2015: Amory Federal Savings & Loan Association

New Court Decision on Flood Insurance

Gary Woodson v. Allstate Insurance Company is an interesting new decision that just came out of the Fourth Circuit regarding flood insurance, which transfers full jurisdiction over claims relating to flood damage to the Federal courts, subject to the National Flood Insurance Act. This is quite big. Historically, insurance regulation is handled at the state level. Accordingly, there’s not a huge body of law at the Federal level on insurance. So claims relating to flood insurance, even when heard in Federal courts, are often guided by local state rules and regulations. As a result, each United States District has established

Implications of Coarse Data Allocation Methods for Flood Mitigation Analysis

I went looking for a copy of my working paper from the 2013 Joint Statistical Meetings and realized, it does not seem to be online. And neither does my poster! So I figured I should fix that. Here’s a link to the poster and the proceedings paper. The key idea here comes from my work on flood insurance and trying to understand the county-level effects of flood mitigation grants. Some grants are given to state agencies. In other words, the granularity of reality is insufficient for my goals. Normally, it’s just a data problem. So I investigated, briefly, four logical

California Flood Insurance Hurts Everyone

California is considering adopting its own flood insurance scheme, according to this news report: California Considers Ditching Federal Flood Insurance For State-Run Program SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is overpaying for flood insurance, according to a report from a UC Davis research group. And now the Department of Water Resources is considering a state-run flood insurance program that could save billions of dollars. “I was afraid to add it up. Apparently, California residents have paid more than $3B more into the program than those residents have received since the NFIP started. So the plan is to exit the NFIP statewide, and

Learn How to Manage a Basement Flood

Geoff Williams writes in the U.S. News and World Report about how to manage a basement flood and in this article, I talk about insurance, and how your basement can flood after a fire. Head over to U.S. News to read more.1 Also, Geoff wrote a book on the great flood of 1913, which affected huge swaths of the Eastern United States, including along the Miami River, where I grew up. His book, Washed Away, is available on Amazon. Image by Alec Perkins / Flickr. Why does U.S. News return 403 to some browsers, blocking embedded links? ↩

The Severity of Severe Events is Increasing

On Thursday night, Mary Catherine Cochran, executive director of the Patapsco Heritage Greenway, asked some very insightful questions about my analysis of flooding in Ellicott City: These questions are worth going into some detail, so let me now discuss what it means that the data is changing. Data is considered to be stationary if it is random and if the characteristics from randomness, such as mean and variance, do not change over time. You can kind of think of this like a bus schedule. Sometimes the bus comes on time. Sometimes it is late. Sometimes, it is even early. However,