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Big "I" Applauds Members for Introducing Natural Disaster Legislation


Brown-Waite/Buchanan will help spur debate on growing issue


WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 5, 2007—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) applaud Reps. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) and Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.) for introducing legislation to address the growing problem of natural disasters.


            The Brown-Waite/Buchanan bill, the Homeowners’ Insurance Protection Act, encourages states to establish catastrophe funds to protect against natural disasters. Additionally, the bill establishes Catastrophe Capital Reserve Funds for private insurers, in a bid to keep homeowners’ insurance rates affordable. The proposal is intended to help prevent potential insolvencies and make the private insurance market more stable, ultimately making catastrophe insurance more available before and after a major disaster, with the reserve funds helping prevent consumers from being hurt by insurance insolvencies.


“The Big ‘I’ and its 300,000 members nationwide are very pleased that Representatives Brown-Waite and Buchanan have introduced natural disaster legislation,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations. “Natural disasters are a national problem that requires a national solution, and we applaud the leadership shown by these members in advancing solutions to this problem.”


The Big “I” has been a leader in advocating for natural disaster solutions, testifying on several occasions before the House Financial Services Committee in the 109th Congress on the need for Congress to address this problem.


“All Americans are impacted by natural disasters as consumers and taxpayers, and it is crucial that we develop a solution to this growing problem” says Brendan Reilly, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs. “We urge the public and private sectors to come together to find a common solution that will serve consumers and protect taxpayers.”


Founded in 1896, IIABA (the Big “I”) is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than 300,000 agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, and health—as well as employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:






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