WASHINGTON, D.C., April 27, 2010 —The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Committee for passing H.R. 5114, the “Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010.”
The Big “I” supports the legislation introduced by Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), which would extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and provide necessary reforms such as increasing the maximum coverage limits for flood insurance policies. The Big “I” also strongly supported a provision in the Managers’ Amendment that would further modernize the flood insurance program by adding, at the option of consumers, business interruption coverage and additional living expenses to the NFIP.
A long term extension of the NFIP is a top priority for the Big “I”, as the program has experienced a litany of short term extensions over the last year and a half. There have been seven short term extensions in the last 18 months, and the program is once again scheduled to expire on May 31, 2010 unless Congress approves an eighth such extension or acts on a long term bill. These short term extensions have unfortunately led to two expirations of the program just in the last few months.
“The continued short term extensions of the NFIP have caused considerable confusion in the marketplace,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of government affairs. “We strongly support the Financial Services Committee’s efforts to pass a long term extension of this important program and hope that the full House and Senate will consider this legislation promptly.”
In addition to a long term extension, the Big “I” has also called for the NFIP to be modernized for the 21st century by allowing consumers the option to purchase business interruption and additional living expenses coverages on an actuarial basis.
“The NFIP has been a successful program for consumers for more than 40 years, but it is time to modernize it for today’s world by allowing consumers the option to purchase business interruption and additional living expenses coverage,” says John Prible, Big “I” vice president of federal government affairs. “We’d like to thank Representative Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.) and Representative Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) in particular for their hard work in ensuring that these modernizations were included in the Managers’ Amendment.”
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.