Stronger Safer Florida Applauds the Signing of SB 1094 to Strengthen Coastal Building Codes, Provide Flexible Flood Insurance Options
May 22, 2015 Tallahassee, Fla. – Gov. Rick Scott has signed into law SB 1094, a bill sponsored by Sen. Jeff Brandes that improves coastal development standards and provides consumers additional choices regarding flood insurance protection. Stronger Safer Florida members worked closely with Sen. Brandes as well as Rep. Larry Ahern on the House companion bill.
“The Florida Wildlife Federation commends the efforts of Sen. Brandes and Rep. Ahern to further prepare Florida for the realities of hurricanes and other powerful storms than can cause damage and flooding,” said Jay Liles, Florida Wildlife Federation Policy Consultant. “The better prepared coastal properties are for potential damage resulting from hurricanes, the more protected Floridians will be from post-storm assessments than can cost consumers, businesses and non-profits billions of dollars in taxes.”
The law now requires new coastal development be consistent or more stringent than updated building codes for flood zones and encourages the use of best management practices to mitigate for sea level rise and prepare coastal property for flood conditions. Additionally, the new law provides consumers the option of flexible flood insurance, which specifies coverage amounts and options of what is and isn’t covered by a policy. Legislators believe this will increase the attractiveness for private insurance companies to do business in Florida, reduce rates and improve customer choice.
The coastal protections also will help Florida as it attempts to mitigate for storm surge and flooding following hurricanes and large-scale rain events as they hit the state’s coasts. Stronger Safer Florida is a coalition of business, environmental and consumer groups that support improvements to Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund to protect Florida residents and businesses and environmentally sensitive coastal habitat.
Mitigation practices and reduce development on the coast can help Floridians avoid costly post-storm hurricane taxes and help protect inland properties from major storm damage. Controlling development and providing tougher building code protections aims to reduce the probability of insurance claims, which can be passed onto consumers.
“For too long, Floridians have had to rely solely on the Federal Government for their flood insurance coverage,” said Christian Cámara, R Street Institute’s Florida director. “This law will finally allow greater competition and give consumers options. R Street applauds Sen. Brandes and Rep. Ahern for sponsoring this common sense bill, and Governor Scott for signing it into law.”
Stronger Safer Florida is a nonpartisan coalition comprised of business, consumer and environmental groups from throughout Florida. For more information, visit www.strongersaferflorida.org.