- Associated Press - Friday, March 7, 2014

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

The bill passed Friday is expected to give West Virginians lower flood insurance plans on the open market.

Last month, bill sponsor Sen. Rocky Fitzsimmons said federal changes under the Bigger-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act have caused increased premiums in West Virginia. These increased costs are hurting the state’s housing market because people buying a new home may not be able to now afford it.

The bill also allows a greater option of flood insurance plans. In addition to purchasing a plan to replace a home, homeowners could opt to only insure the outstanding amount of their loan.

The bill will now go to the governor for approval.