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Fla. lawmakers consider flood insurance changes

Jennifer Kay, Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) -- The Florida Legislature is moving forward with a proposal aimed at enticing private insurance companies to sell flood policies in the state that's the most vulnerable to storm surge.

It's not clear, though, that many private insurers will want to assume the risks of flooding in Florida and join two companies already writing certain flood policies in the state.

A flood insurance bill (SB542) sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes is on track for approval by the Senate. Similar legislation is moving through House committees.

Brandes says the legislation provides flexibility and protections for consumers and a free market for private companies that for decades could not compete with federally subsidized flood insurance rates.

However, insurance industry groups are lukewarm on the St. Petersburg Republican's bill.