W.Va. Senate passes flood insurance bill

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A bill to create a private flood insurance option in West Virginia has passed unanimously in the Senate.

Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons said his bill provides residents with more flood insurance options and would help lower premiums in the state. He said changes under the Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 caused increases in premiums and have affected local housing markets.

Fitzsimmons told the Senate on Friday that a private flood insurance market would create more competition and lower rates in the state in addition to developing more efficient risk assessment.

Under the bill, homeowners could purchase flood insurance to replace their home or simply insure the outstanding amount on their loan.

The bill has been sent to the House for action.

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