Officials target rising flood insurance premiums

December 10, 2013 

Susan Wilson, chief of FEMA's Floodplain Management and Insurance branch, speaks at National Flood Insurance Reform Program town hall meeting at New College on Tuesday. GRANT JEFFERIES/Bradenton Herald.

State lawmakers are meeting in Tallahassee Tuesday to discuss flood insurance.

More specifically, skyrocketing flood insurance premiums and what to do about them.

Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan on Tuesday hosted a public forum on the issue that featured a senior official with the Federal Emergency Management Agency

What started as, and still is, a financial issue has segued into a political issue.

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, which created a number of changes to flood policies, most notable was premium rate increases for some policyholders. Some flood insurance rates could triple.

Now, there are mounting calls on lawmakers to address the issue, which has led to the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee meeting to discuss what options may be available for statewide homeowners.

There have been suggestions that the state begin writing flood insurance via Citizens Property insurance.

But, as with basic coverage, many lawmakers who represent inland areas are happy about essentially subsidizing the riskier coverage for home located along the coast.

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