WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 16, 2011 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 2055, the “Consolidated Appropriations Act,” (known as the mini-bus) which extends the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until May 31, 2012. The Senate is expected to pass the bill later today and avoid an expiration at midnight tonight.
“The Big ‘I’ commends the House for passing this extension and is pleased that the Senate is expected to follow suit shortly,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs. “It’s also important to note that our work on this important issue is not done. We urge Congress to pass long-term extension and reform legislation, either in the payroll tax cut extension package currently being negotiated or as a stand-alone bill.”
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, for the last few years Congress had only extended the program for short periods, mostly from 30 days to six months.
“Today’s actions in Congress are very much appreciated, but it must be noted that this is just a temporary patch,” says John Prible, Big “I” vice president for federal government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ looks forward to working with Congress and the Obama administration over the next few months to also pass a long-term extension with the reforms needed to put the NFIP on solid financial footing for the future.”
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.