Brandes offers bill to increase private flood insurance options
The bandwagon to increase the options for private flood insurance keeps growing. Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, is the latest. From a press release:
St. Petersburg, FL- Today Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) announced that he is drafting comprehensive legislation that will allow private insurers to offer alternatives to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in Florida. Citing a recent congressional proposal to delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act by four years, the Brandes legislation will allow insurers to utilize that delay to establish additional, more affordable choices for consumers.
“I applaud the efforts underway in Congress to delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, but Washington is only kicking the can down the road,” stated Senator Brandes. “The disastrous impacts from NFIP rate increases are still looming on the horizon, and our residents deserve to have choices when it comes to flood insurance. I believe such freedom and flexibility will help reduce some of the financial burdens imposed by the unfair rate increases in the NFIP.”
The Brandes proposal will establish new governing statutes in the residential surplus lines insurance marketplace, allowing private insurers to provide more options for flood insurance coverage. Insurers will be given flexible rate territory definitions to spread risk across the state. Consumers will be given broad flexibility to make choices regarding their deductibles, varying types of additional coverage, and the hallmark of the proposal—the ability to purchase minimal flood insurance coverage for the amount of the mortgage or maximum coverage for full replacement cost.
Senator Brandes has been working with the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, the Office of Insurance Regulation, and private sector stakeholders on the proposed legislation which he intends to file by the end of the year. If the legislation is passed and approved by the Governor, Floridians will be able to purchase affordable and tailored private-market flood insurance before the rate increases in the Biggert-Waters Act take effect again in four years.