reThought Flood

Vermont prevents, New Jersey and New York disclose

Vermont prevents,  New Jersey and New York disclose 

A summary of flood-related regulation at the State and Federal levels over the past few months. 

March 26: In response to insurer withdrawals from California, Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple said state regulators must “modernize our regulatory framework and fix our broken legal environment, and we must do both now.”

March 26: A new Federal funding bill includes funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency of $175 million for flood mapping and mitigation; $281 million for flood hazard mapping and risk analysis; $319 million in emergency grants; and $231 million for flood insurance operations, which it executes through the National Flood Insurance Program. Earlier FEMA ceded $575 million in flood risk to investors through a catastrophe bond issue.

March 21: California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has proposed that modeling of flood catastrophes could in future be used when setting rates for homeowners and commercial policies. Currently California is alone in allowing insurers to base their rates only on the 20-year loss experience. 

March 21: Vermont’s Senate sent S. 213, the Flood Safety Act, to the House, as H29. The bill would prevent construction on floodplains, and address dam safety. Meanwhile municipal leaders in recently inundated Barre and Montpellier have asked the state for $3.5 million to “elevate” 20 homes at high risk of flooding. Earlier in the year, a Vermont House bill on Flood Recovery was read and referred to the Committee on Environment and Energy.

Earlier in the month the state agency Flood Ready Vermont published a webinar in which experts discuss what communities can do before flooding to build resilience. The webinar can be viewed here.

March 20: Laws in New Jersey and New York went into force that require those selling or renting homes or commercial premises to disclose their flood history risks to potential buyers and renters.

March 4: The Florida Legislature approved House Bill 1049 requiring those selling homes to disclose flood risks to potential buyers, including the number of times it has flooded and how much damage was caused.

Meanwhile, language that would prevent non-renewal of coverage for flood-damaged homes was stripped from HB 1611, which is passing through the Sunshine State’s legislature, and HB 1503, which awaits the Governor’s signature, would let surplus lines insurers offer to assume policies issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corp to cover second homes.

Finally, Floridian House Bill 7073 would waive Florida’s 1.75% premium tax and the 1% Florida Insurance Guaranty Association assessment on residential flood and other property policies for one year.

February 27: Florida Governor  Ron DeSantis told CNBC that state-backed Citizens Property Insurance is “not solvent”.

February 13: reThought Flood Chief Underwriting Officer Derek Lynch responded to the statutory Flood Insurance Task Force of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department’s call for suggestions for making flood insurance better for consumers. The response can be read here

February 4: Tony Evers, Governor of Wisconsin, proclaimed February 4-10 as Flood Insurance Awareness Week.

January 25: The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee discussed the Federal National Flood Insurance Program. Insightful coverage of the discussion was published in the Louisiana Illuminator

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