(WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2008) – Below, please find the text of a letter to Congressional leaders urging them to act on the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is set to expire in two weeks on September 30th. The Big "I” has joined forces with other associations on this important effort.
“Letting the NFIP expire would not only be devastating to the millions of flood insurance consumers, but it could also further exacerbate the major problems facing the financial markets today,” said Charles E. Symington, Jr., Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “It is vital to our country’s economic security that Congress pass an extension of this program.”
The letter is a joint effort by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, American Insurance Association, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, and Financial Services Roundtable.
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September 16, 2008
The Honorable Harry Reid The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable John Boehner
On behalf of the undersigned associations, we are writing to respectfully underscore the importance of a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP before the current program expires on September 30th. Failure to reauthorize and reform the NFIP by the expiration date would collapse local real estate markets, potentially cost the government billions of dollars in uncompensated relief efforts, and put consumers at risk.
Five and a half million taxpayers depend on the NFIP as their main source of protection against flooding, the most common natural disaster in the United States. Without flood insurance, residential and commercial real estate transactions in flood zones across the country will come to a complete stop, as mortgage loans cannot be secured without this critical protection.
The federal government currently collects more than $2.85 billion annually from flood insurance policyholders. If Congress fails to reauthorize the NFIP those premiums will be lost and post-disaster relief will be far more expensive. Hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hanna and Ike have already caused significant flood damage, and the United States is only halfway through the hurricane season with several more storms likely.
The NFIP is critically important to Americans and the U.S. economy. We urge Congressional action now to reauthorize and reform this program and avoid the costly consequences that would result from a failure to do so.
American Insurance Association
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
Property Casualty Insurers Association of America
The Financial Services Roundtable
Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America
Mortgage Bankers of America
National Association of REALTORS
cc: The Honorable Chris Dodd The Honorable Barney Frank
The Honorable Richard Shelby The Honorable Spencer Bachus