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Flood insurance flexibility bill goes to Rick Scott’s desk for approval

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A measure sponsored by state Sen. Jeff Brandes aimed at increasing flexibility and lowering premiums on insurance premiums has made it as far as the Governor’s Office, where it sits pending his approval.

SB 1094, which replaced the House version sponsored by fellow Pinellas County Republican state Rep. Larry Ahern — both of whom represent moderate coastal districts where flood insurance is a far hotter issue than abortion or gay adoption — is almost certain to meet with approval by Gov. Rick Scott.

The measure would allow insurance companies and those seeking coverage by flood policies to deviate from federal guidelines set forth by the National Flood Insurance Program, provided both agree to the terms.

It also requires local coastal management plans to include consideration of flood risk and otherwise encourages local governments to tackle the issue by acting directly to mitigate flood damage.

Ahern and Brandes both emphasized the “customizable” aspect of their proposal, wherein an insured can negotiate with an insurance underwriter directly to come to flood coverage terms regarding deductibles and reimbursement levels.

“This bill gives Floridians an affordable option that may keep them in their homes, and empowers homeowners to take control of their flood insurance,” Brandes said in a joint statement with Ahern, back when the bill passed the Legislature.

 “Washington has held our homeowners hostage with drastic rate increases, but this legislation shows that Florida is committed to private market flood insurance reform.”

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