WASHINGTON, D.C., Jan. 12, 2016—Today, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) testified at a hearing before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance entitled, “Opportunities and Challenges Facing the National Flood Insurance Program.” Chris Heidrick, CPCU, ANFI, CFP®, the principal of Heidrick & Company Insurance and Risk Management Services in Sanibel, Florida, and Big “I” Flood Insurance Task Force chairman, testified on behalf of the association.
The Big “I” was the only agent group testifying at the hearing and stressed the importance of maintaining a strong flood program for consumers across the country. In his testimony, Heidrick specifically noted that, “the Big ‘I’ believes that the NFIP provides vital services to many of the people and places that have been hit by a natural disaster.”
“Recent severe flooding in Missouri and across the central United States is an unsettling reminder of the terrible damage that flooding can cause, and the NFIP is virtually the only way for many people to protect against the loss of their homes and businesses due to flood damage,” continued Heidrick.
The association has long been a strong supporter of the flood insurance program.
“The NFIP is currently scheduled to expire on Sept. 30, 2017 and the Big ‘I’ strongly urges Congress to pass a long-term extension as soon as possible. Instability and uncertainty created by short-term, and sometimes retroactive or last minute extensions can lead to concrete damages in the real estate and development market, as well as the country’s economy overall,” said Heidrick.
Additionally, the association commented on private market involvement in the NFIP. Heidrick said, “the Big ’I’ believes that the private flood insurance market can play a valuable but limited role as a complement to the NFIP in protecting homes and businesses, but lacks the capability to underwrite flood insurance on a pervasive basis to meet customer needs.”
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.