WASHINGTON, D.C., March 8, 2017—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 Kathy Castor (D-Florida) for introducing the “Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act.” This legislation allows for private flood insurance to satisfy National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) continuous coverage requirements; meaning that policyholders can obtain NFIP coverage without losing their grandfathered status if they leave the program, obtain coverage in the private market, and later find that this new coverage no longer meets their needs.
”The Big ‘I’ thanks Sens. Heller and Tester and Reps. Ross and Castor for introducing this important legislation that clarifies that having an active flood insurance policy, whether through the NFIP or through the private market, should be considered continuous coverage for purposes of NFIP rating requirements,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president of external and government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ supports the gradual development of a private market as a complement to the NFIP, and this legislation is of vital importance to that goal.”
The bill also clarifies that a private flood policy can satisfy the mandatory purchase requirement for flood insurance and gives state insurance regulators the authority to determine what is “acceptable” private market flood insurance.
“The Big ‘I’ supports a reformed NFIP and slowly increasing private market involvement; however, absent a viable private market alternative for policyholders, the association will continue to advocate for a timely reauthorization of the NFIP ahead of its expiration on Sept. 30, 2017,” continues Symington. “The Big ‘I’ is also working to ensure that any changes to the NFIP recognize the important role of agents in helping consumers make informed decisions about the purchase of NFIP policies for their homes and businesses.”
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.