The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has fallen short in fulfilling its promise as a social safety net for flood loss victims. In place of the NFIP, this Article proposes a mandatory social insurance plan that would harness the strengths of the federal taxing authority to provide basic relief for flood losses occurring at an individual’s primary residence. Any plan for addressing flood loss must navigate hotly debated, competing views about government intervention, redistribution, private markets, environmental protection, and property rights. This Article argues that government intervention in flood loss relief is inevitable, at least in the foreseeable future, and that the focus of that intervention should be on the ex ante provision of a social safety net. The program proposed in this Article is also intended to provide additional levers for addressing the complexities of flood loss, including the reduction of negative environmental externalities, and to provide the impetus needed for harmonizing existing tax provisions and grant programs.
Charlene Luke & Aviva Abramovsky, Managing the Next Deluge: A Tax System Approach to Flood Insurance, 18 Conn. Ins. L.J. 1 (2012). available at http://scholarship.law.ufl.edu/facultypub/270