WASHINGTON, D.C., July 15, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 5114, the “Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010,” which extends the program for five years and includes needed reforms to the NFIP that the Big “I” supports. The bill is sponsored by House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and House Committee on Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.).
“The recent series of expirations and temporary extensions is negatively impacting the market,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO. “The Big ‘I’ commends the House for passing this bill which is a step in the right direction to a long-term extension of the NFIP and includes much-needed reforms to the critical program.”
The NFIP was recently resurrected from a month-long expiration and is currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2010. The Big “I” has noted that the program has worked for more than 40 years to help protect consumers from flood risks, and Congress has traditionally extended the program for five year periods in order to provide stability and security for the marketplace. Unfortunately, Congress has recently only extended the program for short periods, from 30 days to six months. The latest expiration period was the third such lapse this year alone.
“Unfortunately, recent years have provided ample evidence of the destruction left behind by floods that highlight the urgency and importance of both extending and updating the NFIP,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ strongly believes that the NFIP needs a long term extension to bring stability to the marketplace. Additionally, homeowners and businesses deserve the ability to purchase business interruption insurance and additional living expenses coverage in order to properly insure their property. We hope the Senate will soon follow suit and pass H.R. 5114.”
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.