U.S. Representative

Dennis A. Ross

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Ross-Castor Flood Bill Passes Unanimously Out of Committee

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Washington, June 21, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2017 – Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed the bipartisan Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, introduced by Reps. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15) and Kathy Castor (D-FL-14). This bill would encourage the development of a robust private flood insurance market that will provide homeowners more coverage options and lower costs. Having been ordered out of the committee with broad bipartisan support and by a unanimous vote, the bill now is in line for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

"Currently, many homeowners in Florida and across the country face unaffordable flood insurance premiums and a lack of coverage options, largely due to burdensome federal regulatory barriers that give the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) a harmful monopoly over flood insurance policies,” said Rep. Ross. “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. I am proud this bill is moving forward with strong, bipartisan efforts, and I thank Rep. Castor and my committee colleagues for supporting this important legislation.”

“Families, homeowners, and small business owners across Florida deserve financial stability, peace of mind and less confusion when it comes to flood insurance," said Rep. Castor.  "This bipartisan legislation is an important step towards a much needed alternative to the National Flood Insurance Program. Competition can bring lower prices and relief from the flood insurance rate increases that threaten hardworking families and small businesses. In the previous Congress, Floridians led the way to a bipartisan flood insurance fix, and I was proud to join with Rep. Ross to lead the charge, then as I am today. 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 NOAA’s recent warnings to brace for an above-average hurricane season.”

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 on March 2, 2016, and the full House of Representatives on April 28, 2016.

 

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