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Gov. Scott signs Fla. flood insurance bill

 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 16, 2014 – A Florida bill to ease the burden of skyrocketing flood insurance costs became law on Friday when signed by Gov. Rick Scott. The Florida Legislature approved the bill, SB 542, earlier this year.

Despite recent reforms at the federal level to slow flood insurance rate increases resulting from Biggert-Waters, legislation passed by Congress in 2012 to reform the National Florida Insurance Program (NFIP), Florida Realtors and other business groups sought an alternative to the NFIP at the state level.

The bill by Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) encourages private insurers to enter the Florida market by giving them rate-setting flexibility and reduced regulatory burdens.

Early on, the House and Senate disagreed on how much flexibility to give insurance companies on the amount of coverage required. In the end, SB 542 specifies four types of flood insurance policies:

  • one that mirrors coverage under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  • one called "preferred" that requires replacement costs for contents, not the structure
  • one labeled "customized," which will be defined by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
  • one that would wrap around NFIP coverage, i.e., "supplemental" coverage

Florida Realtors continues to talk with Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation, NFIP and Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) to clarify the coverage requirements on structures/contents and better understand the new law's impact.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®