Senate Joins Flood Insurance ReliefBid

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WASHINGTON - (10/31/05) -- A senator has added his support to aHouse effort to bail out uninsured homeowners in New Orleans andelsewhere in the Gulf States where hurricanes Katrina and Ritadestroyed hundreds of thousands of uninsured properties.Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott last week introduced a bill similar tothe one championed by Mississippi Rep. Gene Taylor and three dozenother House members which would allow uninsured property owners inthe storm-wrecked areas to but flood insurance through the FederalEmergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Programretroactively. Under the proposal, uninsured homeowners would becovered for flood damages caused by the two massive hurricanes inexchange of 10 years of premiums and a 5% payment. The paymentswould come out of the insurance payouts. Meantime, Mississippi Gov.Haley Barbour visited Capitol Hill last week to press his own planto have the federal government allocate billions of dollars ofunspent relief funds for Katrina and Rita to cover uninsuredpropertyowners. A failure to cover flood losses for the damagedproperties would leave credit unions, banks and other lendersholding the bag for billions of dollars of worthlessmortgages.

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