THE TOLL

Insurers: Hurricane Harvey Could Be ‘as Costly’ as Katrina

Flood damage from Hurricane Harvey may equal that caused by 2005’s Katrina, the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history. “It could be a flood loss like Katrina because of the amount of water that’s coming in,” a spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute told Reuters. Katrina resulted in more than $15 billion in flood-insurance claims, paid for by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal program that is the only source of flood insurance for most Americans; while wind damage from hurricanes is often covered by regular property insurance, flood damage is usually not. The NFIP is already deeply in debt and likely will have to be bailed by U.S. taxpayers to cover the bill for claims from Harvey.