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WV Sharing: Legislation would allow for private flood insurance

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – A bill introduced in the West Virginia Senate on Monday would allow private insurers to offer flood insurance in West Virginia residents.
Since federal law changes in 2012, many West Virginians have experienced significant increases in flood insurance premiums.  In response to this, Senate Bill 621 would allow the private insurance market to sell more affordable flood insurance in the state.

Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons, D-Ohio, who introduced a bill on Monday, said that insurers who choose to offer flood insurance coverage could sell policies that would help West Virginians keep and protect their homes.“West Virginia residents understand that our flood risks are very different from those in coastal areas,” said Fitzsimmons. “Most homeowners affected by increased flood insurance costs are trying to protect their primary residence, not a vacation home.  The insurance market should be allowed to meet this most important need.”

The Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 reauthorized and revised the National Flood Insurance Program.  The act increases flood insurance premiums purchased through the program for second homes, business properties, severe repetitive loss properties and substantially improved damaged properties by requiring premium increases of twenty-five percent per year until premiums meet the full actuarial cost.

SB 621 has been referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance.

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