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House committee approves flood insurance bill that would encourage private insurers

June 23, 2017
In The News

The House Financial Services Committee approved another bill to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, which would open flood insurance to the private insurers.

This bill — introduced by Reps. Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) — would encourage the development of a private flood insurance market that the sponsors say will provide homeowners more coverage options and lower costs. The NFIP is set to expire on September 30, 2017.

Ross said the NFIP creates a harmful monopoly over flood insurance policies.

“The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act will greatly benefit consumers in flood prone areas because it will remove these unnecessary barriers and allow more private flood insurers to enter the market, which will lead to increased competition and more affordable, comprehensive policies. Giving consumers options will ultimately hold the NFIP accountable for affordability, quality flood maps and service,” Ross said.

Castor said the bill would bring a competitive balance to the flood insurance market.

“Competition can bring lower prices and relief from the flood insurance rate increases that threaten hardworking families and small businesses,” Castor said. “This bill will provide sound solutions for my Tampa Bay neighbors and protect them from unreasonable flood insurance rate hikes. This is particularly important given [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s] recent warnings to brace for an above-average hurricane season.”

Last week the committee approved two others bills — the NFIP Policyholder Protection Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY), and the 21st Century Flood Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI).