FEMA To Resume Paying Flood Insurance Claims

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency will be able to resume paying claims from the National Flood Insurance Program after Congress approved new funding-again-for the NFIP on Nov. 18.

Both the House and Senate approved a bill that will increase funding for the near-broke program to $18.5 billion, just three weeks after raising the funding to $3.5 billion. FEMA, which administers the flood program, stopped paying claims for victims of hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma the week before because it ran short of money.

But Congress is expected to have to increase funding yet again in the coming months as claims for the only national provider of flood insurance are expected to surge to as much as $30 billion.

And lawmakers are still trying to come up with a plan to deal with a much larger pool of in insured property owners-as many as 300,000- whose homes and businesses were destroyed by flooding after one of the three hurricanes.

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