National Flood Insurance Program: Actions to Address Repetitive  
Loss Properties (25-MAR-04, GAO-04-401T).			 
                                                                 
Floods have been, and continue to be, the most destructive	 
natural hazard in terms of damage and economic loss to the	 
nation. From fiscal year 1992 through fiscal year 2002, about 900
lives were lost due to flooding and flood damages totaled about  
$55 billion. Some properties have been repeatedly flooded and the
subject of federal flood insurance claims. The Federal Emergency 
Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of Homeland	 
Security is responsible for assisting state and local		 
governments, private entities, and individuals to prepare for,	 
mitigate, respond to, and recover from natural disasters,	 
including floods. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is 
the primary vehicle for FEMA's efforts to mitigate the impact of 
floods. The Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Committee on 
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, asked GAO to discuss (1)	 
FEMA's approach to flood mitigation, (2) the effect of repetitive
loss properties on the NFIP, and (3) recent actions taken or	 
proposed to address the impact of repetitive loss properties on  
the NFIP.							 
-------------------------Indexing Terms------------------------- 
REPORTNUM:   GAO-04-401T					        
    ACCNO:   A09408						        
  TITLE:     National Flood Insurance Program: Actions to Address     
Repetitive Loss Properties					 
     DATE:   03/25/2004 
  SUBJECT:   Flood control					 
	     Flood insurance					 
	     Insurance losses					 
	     Property losses					 
	     Disaster relief aid				 
	     Insurance claims					 
	     Strategic planning 				 
	     FEMA National Flood Insurance Program		 

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GAO-04-401T

United States General Accounting Office

GAO Testimony

Before the Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Committee on Banking, Housing,
and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate

For Release on Delivery

Expected at 10:00 a.m. EDT NATIONAL FLOOD

Thursday, March 25, 2004 INSURANCE PROGRAM

                 Actions to Address Repetitive Loss Properties

Statement of William O. Jenkins, Jr., Director Homeland Security & Justice
Issues

GAO-04-401T

Highlights of GAO-04-401T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on Economic
Policy, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S.
Senate

Floods have been, and continue to be, the most destructive natural hazard
in terms of damage and economic loss to the nation. From fiscal year 1992
through fiscal year 2002, about 900 lives were lost due to flooding and
flood damages totaled about $55 billion. Some properties have been
repeatedly flooded and the subject of federal flood insurance claims. The
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of
Homeland Security is responsible for assisting state and local
governments, private entities, and individuals to prepare for, mitigate,
respond to, and recover from natural disasters, including floods. The
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary vehicle for FEMA's
efforts to mitigate the impact of floods.

The Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy, Committee on Banking, Housing,
and Urban Affairs, asked GAO to discuss (1) FEMA's approach to flood
mitigation, (2) the effect of repetitive loss properties on the NFIP, and
(3) recent actions taken or proposed to address the impact of repetitive
loss properties on the NFIP.

March 25, 2004

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM

Actions to Address Repetitive Loss Properties

FEMA has taken a multifaceted approach to mitigating, or minimizing the
life and property losses and disaster assistance costs that result from
flooding. Through the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA develops and
updates flood maps that identify flood prone areas and makes insurance
available for communities that agree to adopt and enforce building
standards based upon these maps. Since its inception in 1968, the National
Flood Insurance Program has paid $12 billion in insurance claims to owners
of flood-damage properties that have been funded primarily by
policyholders' premiums that otherwise would have been paid through
taxpayer-funded disaster relief or borne by home and business owners
themselves. Through a variety of grant programs, FEMA also provides
funding for mitigation planning activities and projects before and after
floods occur.

Repetitive loss properties represent a significant portion of annual flood
insurance program claims. About 1 percent of the 4.4 million properties
currently insured by the program are considered to be repetitive loss
properties-properties for which policyholders have made two or more $1,000
flood claims. However, about 38 percent of all program claim costs have
been the result of repetitive loss properties, at a cost of about $4.6
billion since 1978.

Recent federal actions to reduce program losses related to repetitive loss
properties include FEMA's strategy to target severe repetitive loss
properties for mitigation and congressional proposals to phase out
coverage or begin charging full and actuarially based rates for repetitive
loss property owners who refuse to accept FEMA's offer to purchase or
mitigate the effect of floods on these buildings. FEMA's strategy and the
congressional proposals appear to have the potential to reduce the number
and vulnerability of repetitive loss properties and, thereby, the
potential to help reduce the number of flood insurance claims.

                    www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-04-401T.

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on
the link above. For more information, contact William O. Jenkins at (202)
512-8777 or jenkinsw@gao.gov.

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in today's hearing to discuss
the National Flood Insurance Program and the effect on the program of
repetitive loss properties-properties with two or more losses greater than
$1,000 in a 10-year period. Floods have been, and continue to be, the most
destructive natural hazard in terms of economic loss to the nation, as
well as the cause of hundreds of deaths in communities across the nation.
During the 10 years from fiscal year 1992 through fiscal year 2001,
flooding resulted in about $55 billion in damages and about 900 deaths.
During that period, the federal government paid about $7.7 billion in
federal flood insurance claims financed primarily through policyholder
premiums paid into the National Flood Insurance Fund.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) within the Department of
Homeland Security (DHS) is the primary federal agency responsible for
assisting state and local governments, private entities, and individuals
to prepare for, mitigate,1 respond to, and recover from natural disasters,
including floods. FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program has served as a
key component of the agency's efforts to minimize or mitigate the damage
and financial impact of floods on the public, as well as to limit federal
expenditures needed after floods occur. The program has been credited by
the administration with saving $1 billion annually by improving floodplain
management and setting building standards-such as one to elevate
structures-that have minimized flood damages. However, in the past, we
have identified a number of concerns about the program's financial
viability, including how repetitive loss properties have contributed to
the program's long-term losses. Recent actions have been taken or proposed
by the administration and Members of Congress to address the challenge
posed by repetitive loss properties.

My testimony today is based primarily on our past work. I will provide a
perspective on (1) FEMA's approach to mitigating flood-related losses
through the flood insurance program and other grant programs, (2) the
effect of repetitive loss properties on the flood insurance program, and
(3) recent actions taken or proposed to address the impact of repetitive
loss properties on the program by FEMA and the Congress.

1 Mitigation is defined by FEMA as sustained action that reduces or
eliminates long-term risk to people and property from hazards and their
effects.

In summary:

o  	FEMA has taken a multifaceted approach to mitigating flood-related
losses. Through the flood insurance program, FEMA identifies and maps
flood prone communities and makes insurance available to property owners
in communities that agree to adopt and enforce building standards to
mitigate the impact of floods. FEMA also provides funding for mitigation
planning activities and projects before and after floods occur through
various mitigation grant programs.

o  	Repetitive loss properties represent a significant portion of annual
flood insurance claims. While repetitive loss properties represent only
about 1 percent of the current 4.4 million properties insured by the
program, they have accounted for about 38 percent of all program claim
costs historically and are projected by FEMA to cost about $200 million
annually. Since 1978, the total cost of these repetitive loss properties
to the program has been about $4.6 billion.

o  	Recent federal actions to reduce program claims related to repetitive
loss properties include FEMA's strategy to target the most frequent and
costly repetitive loss properties for mitigation and congressional
proposals to phase out coverage or begin charging full and actuarially
based rates for repetitive loss property owners who refuse to accept
FEMA's offer to purchase or mitigate the affected buildings. These actions
have the potential to reduce future program losses and improve the
financial condition of the program.

Background 	Floods continue to be the most destructive natural hazard in
terms of damage and economic loss to the nation. Property damage from
flooding now totals over $1 billion each year in the United States and
floods occur within all 50 states. Nearly 9 of every 10 presidential
disaster declarations result from natural phenomena in which flooding was
a major component. Most communities in the United States can experience
some kind of flooding after spring rains, heavy thunderstorms, or winter
snow thaws. Not only do floods cause damage and loss, they can be
deadly-flooding caused the deaths of about 900 people from fiscal year
1992 through fiscal year 2001. Tropical Storm Allison, which struck the
Gulf Coast in June 2001, demonstrated the economic and social impact
flooding can have, causing billions of dollars in damages and 41 deaths.
As a result of the storm, FEMA paid out over $1 billion in insurance
claims, the largest amount paid for a single event since 1978 when FEMA
began to collect summary statistics on flood claims. More recently,
Hurricane Isabel ravaged the Mid-Atlantic states in September 2003.
Through November 30,

2003, FEMA had paid over $160 million in flood insurance claims and
estimates that ultimately, flood insurance claim payments resulting from
Isabel will be about $450 million. At least 40 deaths have been attributed
to the storm.

Floods can be slow or fast rising but generally develop over a period of
days. Flash flood waters move at very fast speeds and can roll boulders,
tear out trees, destroy buildings, and obliterate bridges. Walls of water
can reach heights of 10 to 20 feet and generally are accompanied by a
deadly cargo of debris. Flood damage causes both direct and indirect
costs. Direct costs reflect immediate losses and repair costs as well as
short-term costs such as flood fighting, temporary housing, and
administrative assistance. By contrast, indirect costs are incurred in an
extended time period following a flood and include loss of business and
personal income (including permanent loss of employment), reduction in
property values, increased insurance costs, loss of tax revenue,
psychological trauma, and disturbance to ecosystems. In 1968, in
recognition of the increasing amount of flood damage, the lack of readily
available insurance for property owners, and the cost to the taxpayer for
flood-related disaster relief, the Congress passed the National Flood
Insurance Act (Pub. L. No. 90-448) that created the National Flood
Insurance Program.

  FEMA Has Sought to Minimize Flood-Related Losses Through the National Flood
  Insurance Program and Various Mitigation Grant Programs

Through the National Flood Insurance Program, FEMA has sought to minimize
flood-related property losses by making flood insurance available on
reasonable terms and encouraging its purchase by people who need flood
insurance protection-particularly those living in flood prone areas. The
program identifies flood prone areas in the country, makes flood insurance
available to property owners in communities that participate in the
program,2 and requires floodplain building standards to mitigate flood
hazards. FEMA also seeks to mitigate flood hazards through a variety of
mitigation grant programs.

Under the flood insurance program, FEMA prepares flood insurance rate maps
to delineate flood prone areas including special flood hazard areas- also
known as 100-year floodplains3-where enhanced building standards and
insurance requirements apply. Currently, FEMA is in the initial stages

2Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States currently participate
in the program, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

3These areas have a 1 percent or greater chance of experiencing flooding
in any given year.

of a billion dollar effort to update the nation's flood maps. The Map
Modernization program is intended to improve the accuracy of flood maps,
put the maps in digital format to improve their accessibility, and provide
the basis for assessing the impact of other hazards in support of DHS's
efforts to protect the nation from both man-made and natural disasters.
For example, the maps could be used to assess the impact of toxic chemical
spills on local waterways. At the request of the Chairman of the House
Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, we
have been reviewing the Map Modernization program and plan to report on
FEMA's program strategy and the status of the program later this spring.

Flood maps provide the basis for establishing floodplain building
standards that participating communities must adopt and enforce as part of
the program. For a community to participate in the program, any structures
built within a special flood hazard area after the flood map was completed
must be built according to the program's building standards that are aimed
at minimizing flood losses. A key component of the program's building
standards that must be followed by participating communities is a
requirement that the lowest floor of the structure be elevated to or above
the base flood level-the highest elevation at which there is a 1-percent
chance of flooding in a given year. The administration has estimated that
the program's standards for new construction save about $1 billion
annually in flood damage avoided. According to FEMA, buildings constructed
in compliance with these standards suffer approximately 80 percent less
damage annually than those not built according to these standards.

Flood maps also provide the basis for setting insurance rates and
identifying properties whose owners are required to purchase flood
insurance. When the program was created, the purchase of flood insurance
was voluntary. To increase the impact of the program, the Congress amended
the original law in 1973 to require the purchase of flood insurance in
certain circumstances. Flood insurance is required for structures in
special flood hazard areas of communities participating in the program if
(1) any federal loans or grants were used to acquire or build the
structures or (2) the structures are secured by mortgage loans made by
lending institutions that are regulated by the federal government.4 The

4Owners of properties with no mortgages or properties with mortgages held
by unregulated lenders were not, and still are not, required to purchase
flood insurance, even if the properties are in special flood hazard areas.

National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 that further amended the
program also reinforced the objective of using insurance as the preferred
mechanism for disaster assistance. The act expanded the role of federal
agency lenders and regulators in enforcing the mandatory flood insurance
purchase requirements. It also prohibited further flood disaster
assistance for any property where flood insurance was not maintained even
though it was mandated as a condition for receiving prior disaster
assistance. Currently, the program provides insurance for approximately
4.4 million policyholders in the nearly 20,000 communities that
participate in the program. The program has paid about $12 billion in
insurance claims, primarily from policyholder premiums that otherwise
would have been paid through taxpayer-funded disaster relief or borne by
home and business owners themselves.

FEMA also has a variety of grant programs designed to mitigate the effects
of natural hazards, including flooding, on people and property. From
October 1989 through July 2003, FEMA funded approximately 3,900 flood
mitigation projects worth about $2 billion through the flood insurance
program and a variety of other grant programs. Through these projects,
FEMA mitigated over 29,000 properties. FEMA's Flood Mitigation Assistance
Program is funded through the flood insurance program and is designed to
reduce claims under the program. Grants provided to states and communities
are to be used for flood related mitigation activities such as elevation,
acquisition, and relocation of buildings insured by the flood insurance
program. In implementing this program, FEMA has encouraged states to
prioritize project grant applications that include repetitive loss
properties. In addition, FEMA provides funding for mitigation planning
activities and projects before and after floods occur, respectively
through the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program and the Hazard Mitigation
Grant Program. In implementing the Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program for
2003, FEMA specifically targeted projects designed to mitigate repetitive
loss properties. Through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, FEMA
estimates that it has mitigated over 2,500 repetitive loss properties
through acquisitions, elevations, and other flood protection measures.

  Payments for Repetitive Losses Contribute to Program Financial Concerns

The flood insurance program has raised financial concerns because, over
the years, it has lost money and at times has had to borrow funds from the
U.S. Treasury. One of the primary reasons-payments for repetitive loss
properties-has been consistently identified in our past work and by FEMA.
About 49,000-approximately 1 percent of the 4.4 million buildings
currently insured under the program-have been flooded on more than one
occasion during a 10-year period and have received flood insurance
payments of $1,000 or more for each claim. These repetitive loss
properties are problematic not only because of their vulnerability to
flooding but also because of the costs of repeatedly repairing flood
damages. For example, a 1998 study by the National Wildlife Federation
noted that nearly 1 out of every 10 repetitive loss homes has had
cumulative flood loss claims that exceeded the value of the house.

According to FEMA, repetitive loss properties have accounted for about 38
percent of all program claim costs historically and are projected by FEMA
to cost about $200 million annually. Since 1978, the total cost of these
repetitive loss properties to the program has been about $4.6 billion.
Nearly half of all nationwide repetitive loss property insurance payments
had been made in Louisiana, Florida and Texas. For example, in Texas,
since 1978 there have been approximately 45,000 flood claims totaling over
$1 billion for repetitive damage. These 3 states, plus 12 others, have
accounted for nearly 90 percent of the total payments made for repetitive
loss properties.

  FEMA has Developed a Strategy and Members of Congress Have Proposed Changes to
  Address Repetitive Losses

FEMA has developed a strategy to reduce the number of properties
repeatedly flooded that, like congressional proposals, seeks to target
repetitive loss properties with the greatest losses. FEMA's strategy
identifies the highest priority properties, for example those with four or
more losses, that would benefit from mitigation activities designed to
remove them altogether from the floodplains, elevate them above the reach
of floodwaters, or apply other measures that would significantly reduce
their exposure to flood risk. According to FEMA, it has paid out close to
$1 billion dollars in flood insurance claims over the last 21 years for
these properties. As of November 30, 2003 FEMA had identified
approximately 11,000 currently insured repetitive loss properties in this
target group. FEMA has set up a special direct facility for servicing
these properties and provides information about these property to state
and local floodplain management officials. States or communities may
sponsor

projects to mitigate flood losses to these properties or may be able to
provide property owners technical assistance on mitigation options. To
facilitate grant-funded mitigation activities5 for this target group, FEMA
also initiated a pilot program to allow states and communities (where
these properties are located) to use simplified methodology and software
to establish the cost-effectiveness of proposed projects when applying for
grants to mitigate these repetitive loss properties.

Members of Congress have also recognized the financial burden repetitive
loss properties place on the program and have proposed changing premium
rates for properties with the greatest losses. Two bills introduced in
2003-H.R. 253 and H.R. 670-proposed amending the National Flood Insurance
Act of 1968, to, among other things, change the premiums for repetitive
loss properties. Under the proposed bills, premiums charged for such
properties would reflect actuarially based rates6 if the property owner
has refused a buyout, elevation, or other flood mitigation measure from
the flood insurance program or FEMA. H.R. 253, as passed by the House,
included a pilot program to allow FEMA to use flood insurance program
funds to target "severe" repetitive loss properties for mitigation.
Specifically, FEMA could use up to $40 million each year for the next 5
years for mitigation directed at these properties. For property owners who
refuse FEMA's mitigation offers, their premium rates would be increased by
50 percent if they subsequently made a claim to the program exceeding
$1,500.7 In the past, we have noted that increasing policyholder premiums
could cause some of the policyholders to cancel their flood insurance.8
H.R. 253 includes a provision that provides FEMA the flexibility of
increasing the deductible, which would result in a lower premium rate, for
policies where property owners refuse mitigation offers and make
subsequent claims exceeding $1,500. This may provide property owners

5This pilot applies to all FEMA mitigation grant programs including the
Hazard Mitigation Grant, the Flood Mitigation Assistance, the Pre-Disaster
Mitigation, and Supplemental Mitigation Grants.

6Actuarially based rates would reflect the average expected flood losses
over the long-run. Many flood insurance program policies are subsidized
and therefore lower than actuarially based rates because the Congress
authorized the program to make subsidized insurance rates available to
owners of structures built before a community's flood map was prepared.

7Property owners could not be charged premium rates greater than the
actuarial rates for their area.

8U.S General Accounting Office, Flood Insurance: Challenges Facing the
National Flood Insurance Program, GAO-03-606T (Washington , D.C.: Apr. 1,
2003).

who refuse mitigation offers a means for maintaining their flood insurance
without a significant increase in their premium rate.

While we have not fully analyzed the potential results of FEMA's
repetitive loss strategy and mitigation actions proposed by H.R. 253,
based on a preliminary assessment, they appear to have the potential to
reduce the number and/or vulnerability of repetitive loss properties and,
thereby, the potential to help improve the program's financial condition.
By making near term investments targeted to the most costly properties to
insure, FEMA should be able to reduce annual expenditures for these
properties in the long term by reducing the national inventory of
repetitive loss properties.

According to FEMA, there are a total of about 100,000 repetitive loss
properties accounting for $4.6 billion in losses since 1978. Of these
properties, FEMA reports that there are about 49,000 properties that are
currently insured that have accounted for about $2.6 billion in losses
since 1978. Of these currently insured properties, about 6,000 repetitive
loss properties that have accounted for about $792 million in losses since
1978 could be considered for mitigation efforts funded through the pilot
program proposed by H.R. 253. In accordance with the bill's proposed
criteria, each of these properties either had 4 or more separate claims
each exceeding $5,000 with cumulative claims exceeding $20,000 or had at
least 2 separate claims with cumulative losses exceeding the value of the
property. The remaining 43,000 currently insured repetitive loss
properties, accounting for $1.8 billion in losses since 1978, do not meet
the criteria for the proposed pilot program. Of these properties that
would not be eligible for the pilot program, about 26,000 properties,
accounting for about $1.6 billion in losses since 1978, had cumulative
losses greater than $20,000, but either (1) less than 4 claims had been
filed or (2) each claim did not meet the $5,000 threshold. (For state by
state details on the total number of repetitive loss properties, the
number of currently insured repetitive loss properties, the number of
currently insured repetitive loss properties that meet the criteria
proposed in the H.R. 253 pilot program, and the number of currently
insured repetitive loss properties that do not meet the criteria, see
appendix 1, tables 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively.)

As with all federal initiatives, the success of FEMA `s efforts in
implementing a repetitive loss strategy and any future legislated program
directives will be most effectively determined by using outcome-based,
rather than output-based performance measures. Such outcome-based measures
could allow FEMA to assess the impact of savings to the

National Flood Insurance Program resulting from its mitigation of
repetitive loss properties.

  Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any
       questions that you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.

Contact Information 	For further information on this testimony, please
contact William O. Jenkins at (202) 512-8777. Individuals making key
contributions to this testimony include Chris Keisling, Kirk Kiester, and
Meg Ullengren.

Appendix 1: Data on Repetitive Loss Properties For the Period January 1, 1978
through November 30, 2003

This appendix contains data we obtained from FEMA's National Flood
Insurance Program Bureau & Statistical Agent on repetitive loss properties
and the flood insurance losses associated with those properties. To assess
the reliability of this data, we interviewed agency officials
knowledgeable about the data and the system development manager
responsible for maintaining the data and the systems. We determined that
the data were sufficiently reliable for identifying repetitive loss
properties and illustrating the potential impact of the pilot program
proposed by H.R. 253 on these properties.

Table 1: Total Number of Repetitive Loss Properties As Defined by FEMA and
the Total Losses Incurred by These Properties

                              Page 10 GAO-04-401T
                 Dollar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
State            amount                 loss repetitive                                                                                                                                                                                                 District                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
or                of Territory properties       loss Alabama 1,835 $83,691,091 Alaska 19 468,843 Arizona 175 4,884,758 Arkansas 321 11,941,534 California 2,628 124,044,903 Colorado 36 748,159 Connecticut 1,054 44,163,664 Delaware 281 12,615,552       of 10 585,392 Florida 9,019 421,344,255 Georgia 855 41,425,873 Guam 12 385,619 Hawaii 144 9,546,830 Idaho 14 579,663 Illinois 1,762 54,387,720 Indiana 616 18,583,212 Iowa 503 18,829,467 Kansas 323 17,044,737 Kentucky 1,117 55,283,294 Louisiana 20,534 810,411,024 Maine 125 5,946,516 Maryland 508 23,776,971 Massachusetts 2,140 88,096,542 Michigan 351 9,186,190               
      Number of  losses                      properties                                                                                                                                                                                                 Columbia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
      repetitive    for                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Minnesota 353 11,223,627

                 State or  Number of repetitive   Dollar amount of losses for 
                Territory        loss properties   repetitive loss properties 
              Mississippi                  3,281                  127,911,429 
                 Missouri                  3,953                  190,678,940 
                  Montana                     35                      706,576 
                 Nebraska                    300                    7,855,929 
                   Nevada                     21                    1,699,859 
            New Hampshire                     91                    2,489,816 
               New Jersey                  6,126                  265,701,909 
               New Mexico                     12                      430,851 
                 New York                  6,988                  195,600,245 
           North Carolina                  5,767                  268,496,176 
             North Dakota                    111                    5,194,653 
                     Ohio                  1,003                   33,594,150 
                 Oklahoma                    757                   33,569,657 
                   Oregon                    251                   13,325,203 
             Pennsylvania                  2,670                  134,421,074 
              Puerto Rico                  1,838                   45,025,945 
             Rhode Island                    167                    9,869,855 
           South Carolina                  1,248                   68,927,019 

            South Dakota               69                        2,140,281 
              Tennessee                641                      24,452,981 
                Texas                15,777                  1,039,278,392 
                Utah                            5                  174,244 
               Vermont                 46                        1,412,547 
           Virgin Islands              181                      17,088,798 
              Virginia                1,676                     87,661,854 
             Washington                604                      31,294,466 
            West Virginia             1,707                     65,014,451 
              Wisconsin                350                      10,698,243 
               Wyoming                          5                 $157,285 
                Total                100,415                $4,554,068,263 

Source: FEMA

Note: This table contains data from January 1,1978 to November 30, 2003.
Repetitive loss properties are defined by FEMA as properties that have
been flooded on more than one occasion during a 10year period and have
received flood insurance payments of $1,000 or more for each claim.

Table 2: Total Number of Currently Insured Repetitive Loss Properties As
Defined by FEMA and the Total Losses Incurred by These Properties

                              Page 12 GAO-04-401T
                     Dollar                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
                  amount of           properties                                                                                                                                                                                                  District                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
State            losses for Territory currently  properties Alabama 1,113 $54,763,624 Alaska 9 250,401 Arizona 34 979,728 Arkansas 98 5,214,244 California 1,315 70,297,658 Colorado 15 288,285 Connecticut 551 25,762,758 Delaware 166 9,093,706       of 2 262,095 Florida 5,844 285,678,979 Georgia 449 24,230,607 Guam 9 326,419 Hawaii 63 5,698,632 Idaho 5 269,659 Illinois 602 23,203,936 Indiana 262 9,337,064 Iowa 233 10,310,670 Kansas 86 7,472,586 Kentucky 559 33,985,283 Louisiana 11,211 519,823,924 Maine 60 3,389,180 Maryland 285 15,190,465 Massachusetts 1,433 62,583,805 Michigan 79 4,171,667 Minnesota 148 5,682,443 Mississippi 1,248 64,364,366 Missouri 935 67,498,430 Montana 7 179,171 Nebraska 52 1,477,567 Nevada 11 838,471       New 38 1,580,076    New 3,584 166,181,042          
or  Number of    insured           insured                                                                                                                                                                                                     Columbia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Hampshire              Jersey                            
      repetitive repetitive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   New   
            loss       loss                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mexico 6 147,581

               State or Number of repetitive      Dollar amount of losses for 
                                        loss          insured repetitive loss 
              Territory properties currently                       properties 
                                     insured 
               New York                2,741                       98,779,008 
         North Carolina                4,132                      182,941,805 
           North Dakota                   25                          959,524 
                   Ohio                  428                       19,956,150 
               Oklahoma                  238                       14,035,032 
                 Oregon                  148                        8,885,004 
           Pennsylvania                1,111                       71,048,345 
            Puerto Rico                  340                       15,165,298 
           Rhode Island                   76                        5,067,871 
         South Carolina                  608                       32,024,539 
           South Dakota                   23                          974,108 
              Tennessee                  328                       16,149,183 
                  Texas                6,118                      529,656,763 
                   Utah                    2                          141,441 
                Vermont                   21                          826,362 
         Virgin Islands                   72                        7,640,852 
               Virginia                1,001                       50,679,980 
             Washington                  296                       18,570,981 

           West Virginia                     769                34,191,301 
             Wisconsin                       208                 6,629,724 
              Wyoming                          2                   $33,971 
               Total                      49,199            $2,594,891,765 

Source: FEMA

Note: This table contains data from January 1,1978 to November 30, 2003.
Repetitive loss properties are defined by FEMA as properties that have
been flooded on more than one occasion during a 10year period and have
received flood insurance payments of $1,000 or more for each claim.

Table 3: Total Number of Insured Repetitive Loss Properties That Meet H.R.
253 Severe Repetitive Loss Criteria and Total Losses Incurred by These
Properties

Current repetitive loss inventory Severe repetitive loss properties as
defined by H.R. 253

                              Page 14 GAO-04-401T
                                                                                                                                                 4 or                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                 more                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                            4 or total                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
                        of                           insured     of          Dollar                                                losses   more losses  greater                                          $5000                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                District                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Dollar     Number losses Dollar  Number  insured  Number losses  insured amount                        total State repetitive     for losses losses     than Territory properties properties $5000  Each of property Alabama 1,113 $54,763,624 54 $6,463,851 $2,420,400 Alaska 9 250,401 0 0  Arizona 34 979,728 0 0 175,759 Arkansas 98 5,214,244 12 2,708,354  California 1,315 70,297,658 98 12,693,031 5,295,799 Colorado 15 288,285 0 0  Connecticut 551 25,762,758 52 5,849,156 1,717,645 Delaware 166 9,093,706 14 3,671,582 85,990    of    2 262,095 1 256,863  Florida 5,844 285,678,979 295 44,395,241 12,033,520 Georgia 449 24,230,607 17 2,184,752 2,912,849 Guam 9 326,419 0 0  Hawaii 63 5,698,632 6 864,053 498,404 Idaho 5 269,659 1 118,865  Illinois 602 23,203,936 61 6,352,145 2,206,544 Indiana 262 9,337,064 26 2,172,406 303,788 Iowa 233 10,310,670 4 852,684 1,110,514 Kansas 86 7,472,586 9 3,030,265 537,385 Kentucky 559 33,985,283 90 13,413,166 1,951,404 Louisiana 11,211 519,823,924 1,543 160,049,021 17,791,274 Maine 60 3,389,180 5 607,713 0 Maryland 285 15,190,465 11 2,147,524 363,953 Massachusetts 1,433 62,583,805 97 14,326,550 3,408,243 Michigan 79 4,171,667 3 346,050 112,444 Minnesota 148 5,682,443 5 854,774 94,625 Mississippi 1,248 64,364,366 160 17,479,826 5,561,038 Missouri 935 67,498,430 166 29,470,155 6,025,294 Montana 7 179,171 0 0 0                                
    amount         of  for   amount      of               of   with            of                         losses  or         loss insured     at at        value                                  each property                                               28                               0                       5                                          0                                         75                                 0                                       18                                             1        Columbia                   0                                       129                                             27                            0                              5                                 0                                    30                                            3                                     9                                         3                                            27                                                      266                                       0                                      8                                                   40                                         2                                         2                                                 77                                               91                               0                                  
                                                                                               properties                                  least least        of                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
                                                                                               with                                              greater                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
                                                                                    properties properties                                        than                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              87,986 
                                                                                          with with                                              value                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Nebraska 52 1,477,567 1      7 355,886

Current repetitive loss inventory Severe repetitive loss properties as
defined by H.R. 253

                                                    Dollar amount  
                                          Number of of losses for      Dollar 
                                                                       amount 
                  Number of                 insured insured Number  of losses 
                                                                of       with 
                                                    properties                
                    insured    Dollar               with                total 
                             amount of   properties properties         losses
                                               with with           
                                                    4 or more                 
                 repetitive   losses for  4 or more total losses      greater 
     State or          loss      insured  losses at losses at      than value 
                                              least least greater          of
                                                    than value     
     Territory   properties   properties $5000 each  $5000 Each of   property 
                                                          property 
      Nevada             11      838,471          1      112,460 0 
New Hampshire         38    1,580,076          1      133,837 1     21,387 
    New Jersey        3,584  166,181,042        375  54,663,072 67  3,665,284 
    New Mexico            6      147,581          0            0 0 
     New York         2,741   98,779,008        141  19,508,163 61  5,541,717 
       North          4,132  182,941,805        198  24,459,561 80 12,572,011 
     Carolina                                                      
North Dakota          25      959,524          1       80,867 0 
       Ohio             428   19,956,150         28   5,421,096 14    706,233 
     Oklahoma           238   14,035,032         38   5,740,230 12    948,477 
      Oregon            148    8,885,004          7   2,448,373 13    659,110 
Pennsylvania       1,111   71,048,345         85  14,820,666 34  3,390,302 
    Puerto Rico         340   15,165,298         22    4,009,676 9    364,354 
Rhode Island          76    5,067,871          9    3,026,107 1     40,949 
       South            608   32,024,539         24   2,862,488 23  2,165,272 
     Carolina                                                      
South Dakota          23      974,108          1      261,320 1     35,974 
     Tennessee          328   16,149,183         26    4,771,974 7    250,766 
                                                       143,758,753            
       Texas          6,118  529,656,763        790            309 49,428,892

        Utah           2    141,441         0      0           0            0 
      Vermont         21    826,362         1   339,126        0            0 
Virgin Islands     72   7,640,852        8  2,464,950       3    1,118,466 
      Virginia     1,001   50,679,980      37  12,213,811     35    3,387,211 
     Washington      296   18,570,981      15  2,312,703      19    1,631,997 
West Virginia     769   34,191,301      33  4,709,416      43    2,752,297 
     Wisconsin       208   6,629,724        5   271,132        1       62,000 
      Wyoming          2    $33,971         0      $0          0           $0 
       Total      49,199 $2,594,891,765 4,577 $638,785,796 1,586 $153,705,454 

Source: FEMA

Note: This table contains data from January 1,1978 to November 30, 2003.
Repetitive loss properties are defined by FEMA as properties that have
been flooded on more than one occasion during a 10year period and have
received flood insurance payments of $1,000 or more for each claim.

Table 4: Total Number of Currently Insured Repetitive Loss Properties That
Have Incurred Cumulative Losses of $20,000 or More that Do Not Meet H.R.
253 Criteria for Number of Claims or Dollar Threshold for Each Claim

Current repetitive loss Repetitive loss properties that do not meet the
H.R. 253 severe inventory repetitive loss criteria

                              Page 16 GAO-04-401T
                                                                                                                       with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
                                                                                                    Dollar  that properties    with                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         
    Number Dollar    Number                losses               losses           with State  Number amount    do     losses   total                                          criteria                                         $45,879,373                                250,401                               803,969                                  2,505,889                                             52,308,828                                   288,285                                        18,195,957                                       5,336,134           District             5,232                                  229,250,219                                        19,133,006                             326,419                                4,336,175                             150,793                                     14,645,247                                      6,860,870                                   8,347,472                                  3,904,936                                       18,620,713                                               341,983,629                                   2,781,467                                       12,678,989                                                 44,849,012                                     3,713,172                                       4,733,044                                              41,323,502                                        32,002,980                                179,171                                            
        of amount        of            associated    properties associated properties  or        of losses   not    that do  losses Territory properties properties criteria  $20,000 $20,000 Alabama 1,113 $54,763,624 1,031         577 $41,002,431 Alaska 9 250,401 9       6 217,462 Arizona 34 979,728 29      17 673,947 Arkansas 98 5,214,244 86        48 2,077,821 California 1,315 70,297,658 1,142        784 48,289,264 Colorado 15 288,285 15       3 168,579 Connecticut 551 25,762,758 481        262 15,885,273 Delaware 166 9,093,706 151        92 4,764,542    of    2 262,095 1     0  Florida 5,844 285,678,979 5,420       3,369 207,264,222 Georgia 449 24,230,607 405        250 17,529,405 Guam 9 326,419 9       6 273,023 Hawaii 63 5,698,632 52        35 4,149,489 Idaho 5 269,659 4       3 138,055 Illinois 602 23,203,936 511        267 12,149,830 Indiana 262 9,337,064 233       129 5,765,705 Iowa 233 10,310,670 220       109 7,230,051 Kansas 86 7,472,586 74        46 3,537,037 Kentucky 559 33,985,283 442        281 16,763,540 Louisiana 11,211 519,823,924 9,402       6,083 305,738,350 Maine 60 3,389,180 55        27 2,466,802 Maryland 285 15,190,465 266        164 11,477,404 Massachusetts 1,433 62,583,805 1,296        682 38,094,864 Michigan 79 4,171,667 74        25 3,261,848 Minnesota 148 5,682,443 141        70 4,031,174 Mississippi 1,248 64,364,366 1,011        654 37,515,205 Missouri 935 67,498,430 678        480 29,695,281 Montana 7 179,171 7       4 158,929                                    
               of               Dollar                          with total                  insured   for   meet   not meet greater                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Columbia                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     
                             amount of                                                              insured         greater    than                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               1,033,695 
                            properties                                                                                 than                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Nebraska 52 1,477,567 44        22 781,283

Current repetitive loss Repetitive loss properties that do not meet the
H.R. 253 severe inventory repetitive loss criteria

                                                        Number of      Dollar 
                                                                    amount of 
                                                           Dollar      losses 
                                           Number of    amount of  associated 
                                                       properties 
                                                     losses              with 
                                          properties associated    properties 
                                                     with total   
                               Dollar                        with  with total 
                  Number of    amount    that do not   properties      losses 
     State or       insured  losses for         meet  losses that     greater 
                              insured                 do not meet        than 
                                                     greater than 
     Territory   properties   properties    criteria     criteria     $20,000 
                                                          $20,000 
      Nevada             11      838,471          10    726,011 7     672,932 
New Hampshire         38    1,580,076          36 1,424,853 17   1,228,814 
    New Jersey        3,584  166,181,042       3,142  107,852,685  92,623,411 
                                                            1,727 
    New Mexico            6      147,581           6    147,581 4     128,129 
     New York         2,741   98,779,008       2,539   73,729,128  59,794,017 
                                                            1,208 
       North          4,132  182,941,805       3,854  145,910,234 127,723,081 
     Carolina                                               2,185 
North Dakota          25      959,524          24   878,657 11     706,938 
       Ohio             428   19,956,150         386   13,828,821  11,787,561 
                                                              199 
     Oklahoma           238   14,035,032         188    7,346,325   6,682,135 
                                                              127 
      Oregon            148    8,885,004         128 5,777,521 89   5,339,042 
Pennsylvania       1,111   71,048,345         992   52,837,377  48,543,126 
                                                              586 
    Puerto Rico         340   15,165,298         309   10,791,268   8,819,234 
                                                              145 
Rhode Island          76    5,067,871          66 2,000,816 33   1,605,087 
       South            608   32,024,539         561   26,996,780  24,708,390 
     Carolina                                                 344 
South Dakota          23      974,108          21   676,814 11     541,731 
     Tennessee          328   16,149,183         295   11,126,444   9,398,369 
                                                              152 
                                                      336,469,118             
       Texas          6,118  529,656,763       5,019        3,797 322,573,631

     Utah         2        141,441      2        141,441      1        125,828 
Vermont       21        826,362     20        487,235      7        345,848 
    Virgin       72   7,640,852        61      4,057,436     50      3,953,055 
Islands                                                      
Virginia   1,001   50,679,980      929   35,078,959      513     30,519,416 
  Washington    296   18,570,981      262   14,626,281      161     13,539,129 
     West       769   34,191,301      693   26,729,587      364     23,249,323 
Virginia                                                     
  Wisconsin     208   6,629,724       202      6,296,592     54      4,792,561 
Wyoming        2        $33,971      2        $33,971      1        $24,605 
    Total    49,199 $2,594,891,765 43,036 $1,802,400,514 26,288 $1,620,526,209 

Source: FEMA

Note: This table contains data from January 1,1978 to November 30, 2003.
Repetitive loss properties are defined by FEMA as properties that have
been flooded on more than one occasion during a 10year period and have
received flood insurance payments of $1,000 or more for each claim.

Related GAO Products

Flood Insurance: Challenges Facing the National Flood Insurance Program.
GAO-03-606T. Washington, D.C.: April 1, 2003.

Major Management Challenges and Program Risks: Federal Emergency
Management Agency. GAO-03-113. Washington, D.C.: January 2003.

Flood Insurance: Extent of Noncompliance with Purchase Requirements Is
Unknown. GAO-02-396. Washington, D.C.: June 21, 2002.

Flood Insurance: Information on the Financial Condition of the National
Flood Insurance Program. GAO-01-992T. Washington, D.C.: July 19, 2001.

Flood Insurance: Emerging Opportunity to Better Measure Certain Results of
the National Flood Insurance Program. GAO-01-736T. Washington, D.C.: May
16, 2001.

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