WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 14, 2017—Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2874, "The 21st Century Flood Reform Act," introduced by Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin). This legislation reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and makes several reforms to the program. The bill now heads to the Senate where lawmakers in that chamber will decide whether to take up the House version of the flood bill or craft their own reauthorization legislation.
"While we appreciate the House action today on a long-term extension of this much needed program, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America is disappointed that the bill included language that arbitrarily reduces the Write Your Own (WYO) reimbursement rate to administer the program," said Bob Rusbuldt, Big "I" president & CEO.
WYO flood insurance companies are reimbursed by the government for the expenses of administering flood insurance policies. Agent commissions are not paid directly by the government, but instead are paid by WYO companies from the expense allowance.
"The cuts to the WYO program may have an impact on main street businesses that sell flood policies," said Charles Symington, Big "I" senior vice president of external, industry and government affairs. "Big 'I' agents are the primary sales force for flood insurance, and they play an integral role in helping consumers make informed decisions about the coverages they purchase for their properties. The cuts proposed in this bill can lead to less consumer choice for homeowners who want to purchase flood coverage."
The NFIP is set to expire on Dec. 8, 2017 and the Big "I" looks forward to continuing to work with Congress to ensure there are flood insurance coverage options for policyholders across the country.
Founded in 1896, the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or 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.