WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 23, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing S. 3814, the “Flood Insurance Extension Act of 2010,” which extends the program through Sept. 30, 2011. The bill previously passed in the Senate by unanimous consent late Tuesday night. President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law before Sept. 30, 2010, when the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is currently set to expire.
“The Big ‘I’ commends Congress for passing this bill which will provide much needed stability and security for the NFIP and its five and a half million policyholders,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “The recent series of expirations and temporary extensions have been negatively impacting consumers and we expect that this one year extension will bring stability to the flood insurance marketplace.”
The NFIP recently encountered 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 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. The Big “I” recently joined forces with seven other major trade associations in sending a letter to the House and Senate leadership urging them to pass a one year extension of this critical program. Click HERE to read the letter.
“Unfortunately, recent years have provided ample evidence of the destruction left behind by floods that highlight the urgency and importance of the NFIP,” says John Prible, Big “I” vice president for federal government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ looks forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration next year to also implement much needed reforms including adding business interruption insurance and additional living expenses coverage to the program.”
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.