WASHINGTON, D.C., June. 25, 2015 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today applauded Sens. Dean Heller (R-Nevada) and Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Florida) and Patrick Murphy (D-Florida) for introducing the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act.” This bill is particularly important to the Big “I” because it clarifies that a private flood policy can satisfy the mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance under the terms of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The legislation also mandates that state insurance regulators, and not federal banking regulators, will be in charge of determining what is “acceptable” private market flood insurance.
”The Big ‘I’ thanks Sens. Heller and Tester and Reps. Ross and Murphy for introducing this important legislation that appropriately grants state insurance regulators the authority to define ‘acceptable’ private market flood insurance in lieu of an NFIP policy,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “This language further strengthens the NFIP by increasing the likelihood that private insurers will continue to explore entering the flood insurance market as a complement to the NFIP, which is an important program to millions of consumers across the country.”
This bill also ensures that policyholders will not lose their flood insurance subsidies or their grandfathered status should they decide to move their coverage from the NFIP to a private market policy and one day wish to return to the NFIP.
“Most importantly for independent insurance agents and their clients, we would like to thank the bill sponsors for including language in the legislation that categorically states that having an active flood insurance policy, whether that be through the NFIP or through the private market, is considered ‘continuous coverage for the mandatory purchase requirement’,” continued Symington. “Without this important language, Big ‘I’ members and consumers would likely have little interest in exploring potential private market options.”
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.