Big “I” Praises House for Protecting Crop Insurance Program
Highway bill restores critical funds to the crop program.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 3, 2015—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) applauds the U.S. House of Representatives for today’s passage of a five year highway funding bill which includes a provision to restore $3 billion in cuts to the budget baseline of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
Despite strong opposition from House Agriculture Committee leadership, the “Bipartisan Budget Agreement” which was approved last month reopened the 2014 Farm Bill and made drastic cuts to the crop program. The FCIP is a crucial risk management tool which has been protecting America’s farmers and ranchers for more than a quarter century. The Big “I” was supportive of the 2014 Farm Bill and opposes any attempts to reopen that carefully crafted compromise and jeopardize the delicate balance created in the long-term bill.
“The Big ‘I’ applauds passage of this bill which restores funding to a program that is essential to America’s farmers and ranchers,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “The Federal Crop Insurance Program is a risk management tool that provides critical coverage to farmland across the country.
Independent agents are the sole sales force for the program and act as experts and trusted advisers in helping farmers make educated decisions about protection for their livelihood. Not only does this insurance product provide adequate coverage for farmlands, it also reduces taxpayer exposure should a weather disaster strike. The Big ‘I’ will continue to support the program and the agent sales force which is the most efficient and effective delivery system.”
This legislation now moves to the Senate where is it is expected to be considered before the current highway funding bill expires on Dec. 4, 2015. 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 approximately 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.