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Two Pinellas Legislators File Flood Insurance Bill

Florida Legislature | Flood Insurance | Flood

Republicans Jeff Brandes and Larry Ahern filed companion bills in the Florida Senate and House that, they say, are comprehensive ways “to address flood mitigation and strengthen (the) private flood insurance market.”

PINELLAS COUNTY – State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) and Rep. Larry Ahern (R-Seminole) on Friday filed bills that they say follow  successful efforts last year to encourage private flood insurance as an alternative to federally mandated insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which saw drastic rate increases after the passage of the 2012 Biggert Waters Act in the U.S. Congress.

“The cost of flood insurance remains the Achilles Heel for Florida property owners, and Washington continues to kick the can down the road,” Brandes said. “This legislation builds on the work we did last year to ensure that we have all the tools necessary to maximize the availability of affordable flood insurance in Florida.”

Ahern added, “By giving the marketplace the flexibility it needs to create more competition it will result in lower premiums and other more affordable options.”

The legislation expands options available under the “customized” insurance policies authorized by legislation Brandes and Ahern sponsored in the 2014 legislative session. Under the expanded options, policyholders will be able to choose the amount of coverage they would like to have on their property, such as reducing coverage down to the value of their mortgage or excluding coverage for contents of their structure. The proposal also encourages new and existing developments through coastal elements of growth management plans to adopt engineering best practices that mitigate flood risk.  For information on Brandes’ Senate bill, go to flsenate.gov/Session. For information on Ahern’s House bill, go to myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills.

Flood Insurance | Larry Ahern | Jeff Brandes | Florida Legislature

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