The House unanimously passed legislation yesterday which would open up flood insurance to the private market. As previously reported in this blog, H.R. 2901, the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act will lower the barriers for private insurers hoping to offer flood insurance policies. This would allow greater flexibility for homeowners. Unlike under current law, homeowners in flood-prone areas would be considered to have had continuous coverage if they drop out of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and purchase private insurance instead.

One of the bill’s co-authors, Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-FL) calls the passage, “a win-win for Florida families, giving them more options for flood insurance coverage and bringing down the cost of policies.”

In a guest column in the Tampa Tribune, both co-authors, Reps. Murphy and Dennis Ross (R-FL) highlight the ways in which this legislation will make the markets more competitive for flood insurance as well as easing some of the pressure from the deep-in-debt NFIP. Largely due to the damage incurred by Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy, the NFIP owes the U.S Treasury approximately $23 billion.

Now, the only step left for H.R. 2109 to reach the president’s desk is Senate passage. Both Reps. Murphy and Ross have urged their Senate counterparts to do so quickly.