The Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida

Photo via anythingyouwant/Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY) Remix by Samantha Grasso

The truth behind Mar-a-Lago’s unpopular flood insurance policy

Some critics see it as advantageous to rich beach-front property owners.


Samantha Grasso


Published Sep 9, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 5:57 pm CDT

Should President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Palm Beach estate become flooded as a result of Hurricane Irma’s impending presence in Florida, the damage will be covered under the National Flood Insurance Program. However, the program’s poor returns have made it unpopular with critics who see it as a scapegoat for rich beach-front property owners.

According to HuffPost, the federal insurance program provides affordable insurance to properties in vulnerable, flood-prone areas that private insurers wouldn’t gamble on insuring.

The Mar-a-Lago property, insured to the Trump Organization and Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust, has an unsubsidized policy and has the “full-risk” rate for its flood zone, a FEMA spokesperson told HuffPost. That means the property owner pays the “full-risk” rate up to a certain amount.

The insurance program was to expire at the end of the month, but Trump extended the policy termination to December as part of the $15 billion disaster relief package signed Friday.

However, as HuffPost notes, the program’s critics have taken issue with its rates, as it doesn’t charge enough to cover the costs of liabilities and doesn’t bring in enough money as a whole. That means it owes an estimated $25 billion to the U.S. Treasury. Critics have said the program allows beach-front property owners to stay on the water without financial risk, and the program is projected to have a one-year shortfall of $1.4 billion, according to a September CBO report.

While Mar-a-Lago isn’t receiving subsidized aid, Democrats have tried to stop Trump’s properties from receiving federal subsidies for flood insurance through a proposed bill called theĀ Prohibiting Aid for Recipients Ignoring Science Act. The PARIS Act plays upon the name of the Paris Climate Accord, which Trump withdrew from this summer.

In the meantime, the Palm Beach club, the Trump International Golf Club in Palm Beach, and the Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter are all evacuated and closed in anticipation of Irma’s landfall.

Read the entire HuffPost report on the Mar-A-Lago’s history of receiving federal aid while under Trump’s management here.

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*First Published: Sep 9, 2017, 5:21 pm CDT