WASHINGTON, D.C., Sept. 30, 2010 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended President Barack Obama for signing S. 3814, the “Flood Insurance Extension Act of 2010,” which extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until Sept. 30, 2011, into law. The NFIP was set to expire today at midnight.
“The Big ‘I’ hopes that this one year extension will provide much needed stability and security for the NFIP and its five and a half million policyholders, but it’s also important to note that our work with this program is far from over,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president and CEO.“Congress now has a year to work on a long-term extension and much needed permanent reforms such as an increase in maximum coverage limits and the addition of optional business interruption insurance.”
The NFIP recently encountered a month-long expiration. 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, before the passage of this legislation Congress had only recently extended the program for short periods, from 30 days to six months. The latest expiration period was the third such lapse this year alone.
“Today’s one year extension of the NFIP is a welcomed, but temporary patch,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ looks forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration next year to also implement much needed permanent reforms.”
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.