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Financial Services Committee Passes Flood Insurance Legislation

Before leaving for the August recess, the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 253, The Two Floods and You Are Out of the Taxpayer's Pocket...
August 5, 2003

Before leaving for the August recess, the House Financial Services Committee passed H.R. 253, The Two Floods and You Are Out of the Taxpayer's Pocket Act, introduced by Representative Doug Bereuter (R-NE). The bill passed by voice vote on Wednesday, July 23.

In addition to reauthorizing the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years, the bill targets the estimated 46,000 properties that the government has designated as repetitive loss properties. According to Howard Leikin, deputy administrator for insurance for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), although these properties represent only about one percent of the total properties in the program, they account for approximately 25-30 percent of all payments. Currently, the Senate is not scheduled to move on a similar bill in the near future.

Some Members of Congress are anxious to see substantial reform to NFIP, as this House bill demonstrates. PIA National supports reform that is in the best interest of independent agents and the NFIP program. But it is the reauthorization of NFIP that is of the utmost importance to PIA members.

Although a multi-year extension is preferable, at least a one year authorization needs to be passed by both chambers before Congress adjourns for the year, which is estimated to be sometime in October. We do not want to have a repeat of last year's chaos when Congress adjourned for the year without reauthorizing the program that expires each December 31.

What It Means to Agents:  Be assured that if it looks as though reform measures will slow down the reauthorization process, PIA National will champion a straight reauthorization bill to ensure that the program continues to function into 2004. We are already working on a backup approach to be sure all bases are covered.

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