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Big "I" Supports Garrett-Frank Flood Insurance Bill

Legislation would strengthen National Flood Insurance Program




WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 26, 2007— The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) supports a recently introduced flood insurance bill, H.R. 3959 sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), which would gradually phase-out some of the subsidies in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

“The Big ‘I’ strongly supports this legislation that would help put the NFIP on more sound financial footing,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations.  “This will make the flood program more actuarially sound and more effective at serving both consumers and taxpayers.  We thank Congressman Garrett and Chairman Frank for introducing this legislation.”

The bill would require any purchaser of a pre-FIRM primary residential home that costs $600,000 or higher to pay phased-in actuarial flood insurance prices using the same phase-in structure that non-residential and non-primary homes are currently subject to in the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization (FIRM) Act as passed by the House of Representatives.  The phase-out of subsidies for pre-FIRM properties is one of the Big “I’s” 23-point recommendations for reforming the NFIP for the future. 

“The Big ‘I’ strongly supports the NFIP gradually moving towards actuarially sound rates,” says John Prible, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs.  “We recognize that the NFIP’s need for financial stability must be measured against fairness to the customers we serve, which is why we believe it is important that this legislation is aimed at homes valued at over $600,000 and includes a phase-in mechanism.”

Founded in 1896, 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.

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