WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb 12, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) is strongly opposed to S. 463, a bill introduced by Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), and H.R. 892, by Rep. John Duncan (R-Tennessee), which seeks to eliminate premium support for the Harvest Price Option (HPO) an important risk management tool for producers. Both bills were introduced today.
“Crop insurance is the cornerstone of most farmers’ risk management programs,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “Independent agents who provide crop insurance to farmers are uniquely knowledgeable about the intricacies of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP). Eliminating an important risk management tool that farmers can purchase to ensure that they can fulfill their marketing contracts is misguided.”
During Farm Bill consideration, the Big “I” was dedicated to ensuring that farmers would be able to retain their ability to purchase adequate coverage for their farmland. The most recent Farm Bill took great strides to improve FCIP participation further reducing the need for ad hoc disaster assistance.
“The recently passed Farm Bill provides personalized risk management for farms across the country that are facing increasing demands to produce food and fiber,” says Jennifer McPhillips, Big “I” senior director of federal government affairs. “Farmers are strongly invested in the FCIP and it makes little sense to begin unraveling a program that works so well.”
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.