One ardent proponent is R.J. Lehmann of the R Street Institute, a Washington-based libertarian think tank. FEMA’s new risk-based model is desperately needed to adapt to climate change, said Lehmann, the institute’s director of insurance policy.
Lehmann, though, argues that Long Islanders aren’t going to see across-the-board rate hikes because they pay more for flood insurance than they get back in claims.
As evidence, Lehmann points to CBO numbers that show Nassau and Suffolk counties are two of only 59 counties nationwide with a surplus of more than $2 million in the current program. By contrast, dozens of counties in southeastern states including Florida, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi have program shortfalls in excess of $10 million, according to the CBO.
“The bottom line is that most people on Long Island should see reductions,” Lehmann said. “This is not a sound-the-alarm moment.”