A new bipartisan attempt to expand the flood insurance market has been introduced in the Congress.
Reps. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) presented the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act
for consideration in their chamber of Congress, while Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) offered a companion bill in their chamber. The legislation seeks to change the domination of the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by allowing the states to license and regulate private flood insurance. Similar legislation was introduced in the previous Congress, but only passed the House.
“More choices and increased marketplace competition means better coverage, more innovation, and more affordable policies for homeowners,” said Rep. Ross “This is especially beneficial to Floridians in central Florida and the Tampa Bay region who face threats of flooding from storms and hurricanes.”
“This bipartisan legislation is an important step towards a valuable alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program and relief from the flood insurance rate increases that threaten our hardworking families and businesses,” added Rep. Castor.
William E. Brown, 2017 president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), praised the new legislation.
“The bill would clarify that property owners may satisfy the federal requirement to buy and maintain a minimum amount of flood insurance with private market or NFIP coverage,” Brown said. “This continuous coverage provision is essential in that it will allow homeowners to move back and forth between the NFIP and private insurance without punitive rate hikes. The provision fosters the growth of private insurance plans and protects homeowners by preserving the NFIP as a viable choice, keeping homeowners from becoming stranded should private insurance options contract or become more expensive after major floods.”