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Life Raft: Could Flood Insurance Sink Us Before The Water Does?

This week on Life Raft: flood insurance.
Laura Sanders
This week on Life Raft: flood insurance.

Everyone knows flood insurance isn’t the most exciting topic. What this episode presupposes is: maybe it should be?

It’s not difficult to imagine a future in which climate-change-fueled storms and floods depopulate our coastal communities. Generations of Louisianans have been moving northward for decades, after all.

But could the rising cost of flood insurance actually drive people away sooner? That’s the question we’re exploring this week. We talk to two experts who explain the history of flood insurance in the United States, where the program is headed, and why flood insurance affordability is a political problem.

Rebecca Elliott is an assistant professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her book is called Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States.

Andy Horowitz is an assistant professor of history at Tulane University. His book is called Katrina: A History, 1915-2015.

Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There’s a super simple form on our website.

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Support for WWNO’s Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you.

If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!

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Travis Lux primarily contributes science and health stories to Louisiana's Lab. He studied anthropology and sociology at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, and picked up his first microphone at the Transom Story Workshop in Woods Hole, MA. In his spare time he loves to cook -- especially soups and casseroles.
Travis Lux
Travis is WWNO's coastal reporter.