WASHINGTON, D.C., July 9, 2009 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) today commended House Financial Services Housing Subcommittee Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) for introducing legislation that would temporarily extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until March 31, 2010.
The NFIP is set to expire on September 30, 2009.
“This extension is just a temporary fix, but it is a significant and welcome development for millions of homeowners and small businesses who count on the NFIP for protection in the event of flooding,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “If the NFIP is allowed to expire, millions of consumers would be left vulnerable the next time a flood devastates a community.”
Earlier this year, an extension was signed by President Obama just hours before the program was set to expire. Should the latest temporary extension pass, Congress will be afforded ample time to continue work on long-term improvements to the much-needed program. In the 110th Congress, the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization (FIRM) Act of 2007 made progress in the House and Senate. The legislation would have extended the program for 5 years and made significant and needed reforms to help put the program on sound financial footing. The effort is expected to move forward during the 111th Congress. The Big “I” strongly supports a long term reauthorization that contains significant reforms, especially the increase in maximum coverage limits and the addition of optional business interruption insurance.
“Unfortunately, recent years have provided ample examples of the destruction left behind by floods that highlight the urgency and importance of updating the NFIP,” says John Prible, Big “I” assistant vice president for federal government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ strongly believes that homeowners and businesses need both higher coverage limits and business interruption insurance in order to properly insure their property. We hope that as Congress considers a long term reauthorization soon, they will include these reforms in legislation. We look forward to working with the Obama administration and Congress for a more permanent solution. ”
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, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.