Florida Chamber applauds passage of private flood insurance market bill

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Floridians will soon have greater choices in flood insurance coverage, as the Legislature passed SB 542 on Thursday, the proposal creating a regulatory framework for a private marketplace for flood insurance.

The bill now heads to Gov. Rick Scott for his signature.

The Florida Chamber of Commerce released a statement applauding the passage – a property insurance reform bill that the Chamber strongly backed.

During an interview on the Florida Chamber’s Bottom Line, Sen. Jeff Brandes, sponsor of SB 542, discussed the importance of private-sector solutions to allow Florida residents to control their flood insurance coverage needs.

“We’re 40 percent of the overall market for the United States, it’s time for Florida to control its own destiny,” Brandes said. “Our bill simply allows Floridians to take control of their own destiny. Let’s let them work with insurers, let’s let them determine how much insurance they need, how much insurance they want and how much they can afford.”

SB 542 will allow homeowners to choose private-market flood insurance policies instead of those from the federal National Flood Insurance Program. It also creates a regulatory framework for flood insurance throughout Florida.

The bill prohibits Citizens Property Insurance from writing flood insurance policies and bans reimbursing flood losses from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.

The Chamber also singled out Rep. Ed Hooper, who filed the House companion, for also sponsoring the legislation.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.