Castor, Ross Reintroduce Bipartisan Flood Insurance Bill to Help Homeowners

This news release was issued by U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15)

WASHINGTON, DC – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15), Senior Deputy Majority Whip, today reintroduced his bipartisan legislation, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, which would encourage the development of a robust private flood insurance market that can offer homeowners options in terms of pricing and coverage.

Property owners are currently limited by regulatory barriers to purchasing a one-size-fits-all NFIP flood insurance product, even though private policies can offer more comprehensive coverage at a better rate. This bill would remove excessive restrictions and would give states more flexibility to license and regulate private flood insurance. Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL-14) is the co-lead of the House bill, and Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) will be introducing the companion Senate bill.

“Floridians and Americans across the country would greatly benefit from more choices when it comes to flood insurance policies,” said Rep. Ross. “More choices and increased marketplace competition means better coverage, more innovation, and more affordable policies for homeowners. This is especially beneficial to Floridians in central Florida and the Tampa Bay region who face threats of flooding from storms and hurricanes.

“I am proud to work with my good friend, Rep. Castor, on this important and pro-consumer legislation. As this bill passed unanimously out of committee and the full House last Congress, I encourage my colleagues in the House and Senate to join me in pushing for this sensible flood insurance reform that will benefit homeowners and families.”

“Families, homeowners, and small business owners across Florida deserve financial stability and certainty when it comes to flood insurance. I look forward to working with Rep. Ross on swiftly moving this legislation,” said Rep. Castor. “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. In the previous Congress, Floridians led the way to a bipartisan flood insurance fix. We need to do it again for the long term to spare my Tampa Bay neighbors from any unreasonable flood insurance rate hikes.”

Background regarding the need for Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act:

Section 239 of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (“Biggert-Waters”) made clear that the intent of Congress was that private flood insurance should be an option available to homeowners. Biggert-Waters narrowly defined acceptable private flood insurance, thereby limiting the flexibility of state regulators to license private flood products.

This legislation is supported by a number of stakeholders, from the Realtors, to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, to a broad based coalition of taxpayer advocates, environmental groups, housing organizations and mitigation advocates.

Last Congress, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, introduced by Rep. Ross, passed unanimously out of the House Committee on Financial Services (March 2, 2016) and the full House of Representatives (April 28, 2016). Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) introduced the same companion Senate bill last Congress, but it did not move past the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

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