Ira Stoll on Expanded Flood Insurance Subsidies for Beachfront Homes


Four months before Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, President Obama quietly signed legislation expanding the federal program that offers taxpayer-subsidized flood insurance to ocean-front homeowners.

The extension of the flood insurance law was a textbook example of how the system in Washington works, or doesn't work. Though billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives were at stake, the extension got virtually no mainstream press attention. It was covered extensively, however, in Insurance Journal, a trade publication that caters to the industry with headlines such as "Agents, Insurers Cheer Congress OK of Flood Insurance Reform Bill."