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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Florida State Senate Passes Private Flood Insurance Bill

The Florida State Senate yesterday unanimously passed SB 542, which was introduced by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg). This bill, if enacted, would establish an alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Florida by authorizing private insurance companies to write flood policies in the state.

The Senate bill stipulates that the private insurance policies would have to be approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation before being offered on the market. The legislation provides cost savings for policy holders by allowing them to purchase less flood insurance coverage than what is allowed under the NFIP. For instance, they could opt to insure only the replacement value of their property, only the outstanding mortgage amount, or the cash value of the property. In addition, the bill allows insurers to offer various deductibles and options for covering homeowners' contents, living expenses and secondary structures.

A companion bill in the State House of Representatives has not yet been brought up for a vote.

Learn more about SB 542.

Read the text of SB 542.