WASHINGTON, D.C., August 3, 2007—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) applauds Reps. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) and Tim Mahoney (D-Fla.) for introducing the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2007, intended to address the growing problem of natural disasters.
The Klein / Mahoney bill contains two titles, one to create a National Catastrophe Risk Consortium and one to create a National Homeowners Insurance Stabilization Program. Both programs are 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. The Consortium program would allow multiple states to pool their catastrophic risk, thereby hopefully achieving an economy of scale and risk diversity that will lead to a lower cost of reinsurance than states could achieve independently. The Stabilization program would allow the Treasury Department to make loans to states and their reinsurance plans to ensure their continued liquidity in the result of a natural catastrophe.
“The Big ‘I’ and its 300,000 members nationwide are very pleased that Representatives Klein and Mahoney have introduced this 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 and the Senate Banking Committee on the need for Congress to consider legislation to stabilize the insurance market for natural disaster risk.
“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 John Prible, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs. “The legislation introduced today by Reps. Klein and Mahoney is a great stop towards a solution, and the Big “I” will continue to work with these members and others to refine their ideas to ensure that any solution 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: www.independentagent.com.