Tallahassee, Fla.-The Florida House of Representatives Insurance & Banking Subcommittee today passed a proposed committee substitute for House Bill 879, the Florida Flood Insurance Bill, which provides Florida homeowners more private sector choices for flood insurance.
“While the Federal government has been slow to act, Floridians are facing drastic increases to their flood insurance rates,” said State Representative Bryan Nelson (R- Apopka), Chairman of the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee. “My hope is this bill will invite more competition and provide consumers more options when they are making decisions on purchasing flood insurance.”
“The NFIP has been the only means of flood insurance for many Floridians, and these homeowners are now facing skyrocketing premiums overnight with no recourse,” said State Representative Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater), sponsor of the House bill. “This bill will provide Floridians with new options for flood insurance from the private market, allowing them to select the best option for their family and budget.”
The bill establishes a set of laws to govern the sale of flood insurance policies by private market insurers to Florida homeowners. Through this legislation, insurers can write standard flood insurance policies, which provide the same coverage as flood insurance under the Nation Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Insurers would also be able to write preferred flood insurance policies, which provide more coverage than the NFIP and allow Florida homeowners the option to have more comprehensive flood insurance. The bill allows flexibility in rate-setting until October 1, 2019, as long as rates are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory. Finally, the bill requires insurers taking policies out of the NFIP to notify the consumer that if the policy returns to the NFIP, a full-risk rate could be charged.