The House of Representatives voted to pass legislation that encourages the sale of private flood insurance in place of policies from the federal government.

The bill would give private insurers and state regulators more flexibility in what private policies satisfy the requirement that properties in flood zones have insurance.

The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act (HR 1422), sponsored by Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), seeks to correct what its supporters contend is a problem in how homeowners are insured against flood damage. Currently, the vast majority of flood insurance policies are provided through the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The bill allows that flood insurance provided by private sector insurance carriers shall be accepted and considered similar to those polices offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), provided certain conditions are met.

It also clarifies that the Federal Emergency Management Agency shall consider any period during which a property was continuously covered by private flood insurance to be a period of continuous coverage.

“Floridians and Americans across the country would greatly benefit from more choices when it comes to flood insurance policies,” said Ross in a press release. “More choices and increased marketplace competition means better coverage, more innovation, and more affordable policies for homeowners. This is especially beneficial to Floridians in central Florida and the Tampa Bay region who face threats of flooding from storms and hurricanes."