West Virginia state Senator Rocky Fitzsimmons (D-Ohio) has introduced a bill that would authorize private insurers to offer flood insurance in West Virginia.
Since federal law changes in 2012, some West Virginians have experienced significant increases in flood insurance premiums charged y the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP).
Senate Bill 621 would allow the private insurance market to sell flood insurance in the state to compete with the NFIP.
Fitzsimmons said his bill would allow homeowners to purchase insurance to replace their house after a flood or to insure only the outstanding amount of their loan.
“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 revised the NFIP and mandated 25 percent a year rate increases for second homes, business properties, severe repetitive loss properties and other properties.
SB 621 has been referred to the Committee on Banking and Insurance Committee.