BIG “I” SAYS WINDSTORM INSURANCE ISSUES ARE CRUCIAL FOR CONSUMERS
Taylor legislation will encourage dialogue on important issue
WASHINGTON, D.C., February 9, 2007—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) says the debate over windstorm coverage is crucial for consumers and independent agents and brokers in many regions throughout the country.
Yesterday, Rep. Taylor introduced the Multiple Peril Insurance Act, which would offer windstorm coverage as an option for consumers within the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill would set windstorm residential policy limits at $500,000 for the structure and $150,000 for contents and loss of use. Nonresidential properties could be covered to $1,000,000 for structure and $750,000 for contents and business interruption. This coverage would only be available where the local government has adopted standards designed to reduce windstorm damage. The Big “I” commends Rep. Taylor for his work on this issue and is examining the impact this proposal may have on both consumers and the private market.
“We are pleased that members are offering ideas to address natural disaster insurance issues and we appreciate Rep. Taylor’s efforts to try and simplify wind vs. water coverage for consumers and to ensure insurance is available and affordable for consumers,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations. “The lack of markets and affordable windstorm coverage for both homeowners and businesses has reached crisis proportions in some states. Hopefully this legislation will spark serious policy debate on this important topic.”
The Big “I” has been a leader in advocating for natural disaster solutions, testifying several times before the House Financial Services Committee in the 109th Congress on the need for Congress to address this problem. “The availability and affordability of windstorm coverage is a serious issue affecting consumers and independent agents in many areas of the country,” says John Prible, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs. “It is important that Congress explore all options to solve the problem, but in doing so it is imperative that any government solution not unduly infringe on the private market.”
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: www.independentagent.com.