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Underwater Underwriting: Flood Insurance in the Age of Climate Change

February 28, 2020 @ 7:15 am - 11:45 am

More than 50 million people in the U.S. are at risk from flooding either along rivers and streams or in coastal areas. This number is only rising as climate change causes more extreme precipitation, hurricanes and nor’easters, sea level rise, and more. However, current publicly available flood risk assessment tools are not sufficient to quantify future flood risk and federal flood insurance programs and policies are not yet equipped to address the growing threat.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through its flood insurance, flood mapping, and floodplain management requirements plays a critical role in state and local climate adaptation efforts. Yet, the NFIP’s flood maps are often outdated and do not consider future risks from climate change. While many agree reforms are necessary, attempts to better reflect current and future risks could also impose significant costs on low income communities and communities of color, exacerbating existing patterns of racial inequality in the housing market.

Join us for this EBC/UMass Boston Climate Adaptation Forum to learn about the intersection of flood insurance, risk management, and environmental justice. Speakers will discuss approaches to addressing the shortcomings of NFIP programs and policies, ongoing efforts to better incorporate climate change into the industry, and the unintended consequences that flood insurance reform could have for low income communities and communities of color.

View the Attendee List

View the Final Agenda

Forum Co-Chairs

Samuel Bell, CFM, Forum Steering Committee Member
Senior Resiliency Planner, GZA

Deanna Moran, AICP, Forum Steering Committee Member
Director, Environmental Planning, Conservation Law Foundation

Speaker Agenda

National Flood Insurance Program: Lynchpin or Liability to Climate Resilience?

Click to View the Presentation – Moore – February 28, 2020

Robert Moore, Director, Water & Climate Team
National Resources Defense Council

Reducing Losses from Flood Risks: The Role of a Behavioral Risk Audit

Click to View the Presentation – Kunreuther – February 28, 2020

Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor Emeritus of Decision Sciences & Public Policy
Operations, Information and Decisions (OID) Department
Co-Director, Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Frontline Families & Communities Facing Flood Insurance

Click to View the Presentation – Devecka-Rinear – February 28, 2020

Amanda Devecka-Rinear, Executive Director
New Jersey Organizing Project

Building Resilient Futures

Marion Mollegen McFadden, Senior Vice President, Public Policy
Senior Advisor, Resilience
Enterprise Community Partners

Registration Information

Registration and Continental Breakfast: 7:15 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.
Forum: 8:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.


February 28, 2020
7:15 am - 11:45 am


Climate Adaptation Forum


UMass Club
32nd Floor, 1 Beacon St
Boston, MA 02108
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