Delay Increase For Insurance

State lawmakers from the Northern Panhandle are right to be skeptical about a proposal the West Virginia Legislature urging Congress to take another look at federal flood insurance rates. There is not much reason to believe many people in Washington will do much for the Mountain State.

As we reported several weeks ago, rates for federal flood insurance are going up dramatically. That is because the program is running short of money, primarily because of claims resulting from two major Atlantic Ocean storms.

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives would delay the increases, but it may not even emerge from a committee. That has prompted leaders in the West Virginia Legislature to consider a resolution urging Congress to act on the bill.

Even though lawmakers The Intelligencer contacted are unhappy about the flood insurance premium increases, some said they doubt a resolution from the state Legislature will do much good. Again, they are probably right.

Still, Congress should take another look at the changes. While flood insurance policy holders should not be subsidized by taxpayers, the program seemed to work well for many years – until big storms hit coastal areas. That should lead federal lawmakers to wonder whether inland policy holders are paying more to hold down rates for those on the coasts.

If for no other reason than to ensure that is not happening, Congress should delay the increases and take a hard look at whether they are reasonable.