The Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday, March 26, 2014, designed to encourage private insurance companies into the flood insurance market. Currently, Florida homeowners are often forced to obtain flood insurance through the federally subsidized national program. Our Miami Homeowners' Insurance Claim lawyers know how the National Flood Insurance Program has undergone significant reforms in the past year, sparking hefty premium increases for residents in flood prone areas and those who own older homes that previously had subsidized premiums.
Public outcry over the monumental price increase caused Congress to enact a stop-gap measure that will delay the most expensive changes to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act. The act, however, has not been repealed and increases will be phased in over time.
Under the plan recently passed by the Senate, homeowners could save money by purchasing less insurance than is currently allowed under the federal program. A Florida homeowner looking to cut costs could insure their property for only the value of the outstanding mortgage, the actual cash value of the property, or the property's replacement cost. This is unique given that currently, under the federal program, the limits are $250,000 for a home and $100,000 for personal property. Further, the bill authorizes insurance companies to offer an array of deductible amounts and increased options for insuring the content of the home, secondary structures, and living expenses.