WASHINGTON, D.C., Oct. 1, 2009 —The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) today commended the United States Senate for passing a temporary extension, until Oct. 31, 2009, of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and President Barack Obama for quickly signing the legislation into law just few hours before the program was set to expire.
“It is alarming that the NFIP, which was set to expire at midnight yesterday, came within a few hours of leaving millions of homeowners and small businesses unprotected,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “Had the program been allowed to expire, it would have resulted in no more new or renewed flood insurance policies and millions of consumers would have been left without flood insurance coverage.”
The NFIP extension was passed as a Continuing Resolution (CR) by the Senate as part of the House-Senate Conference Report on H.R. 2918, the “Legislative Branch Appropriations Act 2010.”
“We appreciate last night’s action by Congress and President Obama for another short-term extension but feel that a long term extension coupled with reform of the NFIP are necessary,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “In particular, we strongly support an increase in maximum coverage limits and the addition of optional business interruption insurance. Homeowners and businesses need both higher coverage limits and business interruption insurance in order to properly insure their homes and businesses. We hope that as Congress considers a long term reauthorization soon, they will include these reforms.”
Another short-term extension was signed by President Obama just hours before the program was set to expire earlier this year. 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 five years and made significant and needed reforms to help put the program on sound financial footing. This summer, similar legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives.
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.