Big “I” Applauds House Passage of Flood Insurance Legislation
Bill includes needed changes to Biggert-Waters.
WASHINGTON, D.C., March 4, 2014 — The Big “I” applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 3370, the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013,” by Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) this evening under “suspension of the rules” requiring a two-thirds vote in favor.
The Grimm-Waters bipartisan bill would make changes to the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters) in order to help with the “sticker shock” some consumers are facing as a result of two provisions that create drastic premium increases in many parts of the country. The Senate passed its version of the legislation, S. 1926, on Jan. 30 in a 67-32 vote.
“The Big ‘I’ is pleased that the House has also passed this sound piece of legislation that addresses a major legislative priory for the association: mitigating the rate shock unintentionally caused by Biggert-Waters,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “This bill aims to reduce some of the harmful effects of Biggert-Waters without undoing the numerous positive provisions within the law.”
The bill would repeal the entirety of Section 207 of Biggert-Waters and would therefore reinstate the “grandfathering” of policies located in communities with a new or redrawn map. H.R. 3370 would also stop the elimination of subsidies for pre-FIRM properties that are bought and sold, which is an extremely problematic provision in Section 205 of Biggert-Waters.
“This represents a major win for independent insurance agents, as Section 207 and the bought/sold provision of Section 205 were the two specific items that the Big ‘I’ has been working on with Congress to find a solution,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ hopes that the Senate and House will quickly resolve the differences between their two version of flood insurance reform in order to provide meaningful relief to consumers harmed by the drastic price increases associated with Biggert-Waters.”
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 a quarter of a million 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.