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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Florida Legislatures to Introduce Bill Encouraging Private Flood Insurance

Florida state lawmakers, Sen. Jeff Brandes and Rep. Larry Ahern, have introduced legislation to provide relief to homeowners from steep increases in flood insurance premiums by making it easier for private insurance companies to write flood policies in the state. The legislation, SB542, would streamline Florida's regulatory process for flood insurance and increase the number of state employees that review insurance products.

The 2012 Biggert-Waters Act included a provision that phases out federal subsidies on flood insurance for properties located in a flood zone, many of the affected homeowners are in Florida. During the news conference, the state lawmakers cited figures demonstrating how private insurance companies can profit by offering flood insurance policies in Florida; stating "Floridians pay $16 billion to $20 billion in premiums and make $3.7 billion in claims."

According to the Florida Senate press release, "SB 542 creates a wide range of flexible options for policyholders to choose so they can reach an affordable level of coverage for their property. The hallmark of the proposal will allow policyholders the option of covering either the outstanding balance of their mortgage, the replacement cost of their property, or the actual cash value of their property. The companion bill is expected to be filed in the House of Representatives by Representative Ahern in the coming weeks. SB542 will likely face its first hearing in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in January."

Learn more.