Big “I” Applauds Senate’s Protection of Crop Insurance Program
Highway bill that restores funds to crop program heads to president’s desk.
WASHINGTON, D.C., Dec. 3, 2015—The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) applauds the U.S. Senate for today’s passage of a five year highway bill that includes a provision to restore $3 billion in cuts to the budget baseline of the Federal Crop Insurance Program (FCIP).
The “Bipartisan Budget Agreement” negotiated last month reopened the Farm Bill and made significant cuts to the FCIP despite strong opposition from the leaders of both the Senate and House Agriculture Committees. The magnitude of the budget cuts would have led to a drastic reduction of services in the crop insurance marketplace, including the possible consolidation or elimination of some crop insurance companies.
“The Big ‘I’ was very supportive of the 2014 Farm Bill and that compromise included carefully negotiated changes to all agriculture programs done in a holistic way,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “Independent agents are uniquely skilled and knowledgeable about the intricacies of the crop insurance program,” continued Symington. “Jeopardizing the program and its delivery system would have left farmers without adequate risk management tools to protect their land and their investments. This would have opened the door to additional taxpayer exposure should disaster strike. We applaud Congressional action to restore this critical funding to the program.”
The crop program is an essential insurance product that which has been protecting America’s farmland for more than a quarter century. The Big “I” urges President Obama to quickly sign this legislation into law. 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.
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