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House panel votes to add wind cover to NFIP


WASHINGTON--The House Financial Services Committee voted late Thursday to add windstorm coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization Act of 2007, which the panel approved on a largely party-line vote, would require the NFIP to offer the multiperil coverage from damage resulting from windstorms or floods in jurisdictions that have adopted adequate land use and control measures as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Premiums for the new multiperil coverage would have to be risk-based and actuarially sound. Limits of up to $1 million for structure and $750,000 for contents and business interruption would be available for nonresidential properties.

Much of the property/casualty insurance industry opposes the inclusion of wind coverage in the NFIP, holding that the private market can meet demand. Proponents of the addition, however, hold that providing wind coverage through the NFIP is necessary because private insurers are not provided adequate cover in hurricane-exposed areas such as the Gulf Coast.