Filed Under:Carrier Innovations, Regulation/Legislation

Florida lawmakers focus on flood insurance

Florida representatives are working on a new flood insurance bill and proposing an extension to a 2014 law.

Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy is behind both a new bill that would allow private flood insurers to enter the marketplace and a proposition to extend the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy is behind both a new bill that would allow private flood insurers to enter the marketplace and a proposition to extend the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Florida representatives are turning their attention to flood insurance with a new bill and a proposition to extend a 2014 law.

Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) are calling for an extension of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act, signed by President Barack Obama on March 21, 2014, which limited yearly flood insurance premium increases for most homeowners to no more than 18%. 

The law applied to owners of primary homes, second homes and rental properties, and averted sudden large hikes some homeowners faced under the Biggerts-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, designed to improve the finances of the National Flood Insurance Program, which has been in debt since Hurricane Katrina, reports NOLA.com.

The proposition faces opposition from some lawmakers who believe people who could afford second homes or vacation homes generally have sufficient income to pay actuarial rates for flood insurance.

Additionally, Rep. Murphy teamed up with Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) to introduce bi-partisan legislation that would give states the ability to regulate and license flood insurance policies, reports National Mortgage Professional Magazine.

Called "The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act of 2015," the law would help develop a robust private flood insurance market that will provide homeowners greater coverage options and pricing. The competition generated by allowing private insurers into the flood insurance market will ensure NFIP is held accountable for its policies and practices, says National Mortgage Professional.

"Today, Rep. Murphy and I introduced a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives that would remove the excessive restrictions that the federal government places on private flood insurance companies," Rep. Ross told National Mortgage Professional. "This would allow states to be able to fully utilize their regulatory framework to license flood insurance policies."

"While I strongly support the NFIP, giving Floridians more options with their plans makes the most sense," said Rep. Murphy. "This bill would get the federal government out of the way of letting Florida foster a competitive market to drive down costs for homeowners."

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