• Senator Jeff Brandes Requests Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Review of National Flood Insurance Program Rates, FEMA Release of NFIP Claims, Exposure Data for Private Policy Ratemaking
  • August 12, 2015 | Author: G. Donovan Brown
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass, P.A. - Tallahassee Office
  • In a letter sent today, August 12, 2015, Florida Senator Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) asked Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty to review National Flood Insurance Program ("NFIP") rates to determine whether they are excessive, arbitrary or unfairly discriminatory.

    Senator Brandes' letter to Commissioner McCarty is attached for review.

    Senator Brandes explained that his request follows reported NFIP rate increases as high as 18 percent for primary residences in Florida pursuant to the federal Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.

    "Florida properties make up 37 percent of all flood insurance policies in the NFIP, and to date, it has yet to be proven that the rates for those policies are anything other than excessive or arbitrary," Senator Brandes said. "Floridians deserve to know if the rates they are paying are based on fact or fiction. I believe it is the role of the state to provide that transparency."

    His request accompanied another letter he also submitted today to Florida's Congressional Delegation urging legislators to ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to release detailed claims and exposure data to private insurers and modelers to assist them in pricing private flood insurance policies.

    Senator Brandes' letter to the Florida Congressional Delegation is also attached.

    Following the passage of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, Florida policyholders were among those who experienced significant premium increases on their flood insurance policies. The Tampa Bay region was among the hardest hit in the nation, with some premiums within Pinellas County rising by as much as 400 percent. In response, Senator Brandes successfully advanced SB 542 in 2014 and SB 1094 in 2015 to encourage a private market alternative to the NFIP.