It's easy for those of us who work in the insurance industry to look at stories like this one or this one and shake our heads. Sure, hurricanes as disruptive as Harvey and Irma are still relatively rare. But how can consumers who live in risky areas still be underprepared after seeing this story play out with Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy, and so many other "stark reminders" of nature's wrath?

Though flood insurance has plenty of issues, not buying it, if you live in a flood zone, is a very risky bet -- because when floods come, they tend to devastate. It's not like skipping out on comprehensive coverage on your car because it's more likely to get in minor fender-benders than catastrophic crashes. But the combination of carriers' risk management appetites, regulatory boondoggles and consumers' unwillingness to confront their risk has left huge holes in coverage.

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