Officials Urge Federal Role in Hurricane Insurance

February 7, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

Two Louisiana state senators told insurance industry executives that the federal government should take over insuring property owners against hurricane damage the same way it covers flood damage.

The idea is also beginning to be debated in the U-S Congress, but the Bush administration's hurricane recovery leader opposes it.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused more than 40 billion dollars in damage.

Louisiana state Senator James David Cain says state lawmakers are looking for ways to make property insurance more affordable in Louisiana.

Wind and hail policies are the part of coverage sold to property owners that pays for repairing damage caused in a hurricane or tornado.

Few companies are selling the coverage in post-hurricane south Louisiana, and rates have risen dramatically.

Cain said he, Senator Julie Quinn and other state lawmakers plan to go to Washington D-C to plead the case for federal assumption of hurricane insurance.

But Don Powell, President Bush's advisor on hurricane recovery, said the federal government has no business insuring against hurricane damage like it does in the National Flood Insurance Program.