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PIA Urges Congress to Renew National Flood Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2004 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today initiated a nationwide grassroots action campaign, asking its members...
June 8, 2004

Authorization Will Expire June 30 Unless Lawmakers Act

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2004  - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today initiated a nationwide grassroots action campaign, asking its members to contact their Members of Congress and to urge them to pass flood insurance legislation before the program expires on June 30.

"Our message is clear: time is running out," said Peter Bizzozero, PIA National assistant vice president for federal affairs. "It is imperative that the NFIP not be allowed to expire, as happened at the end of 2002." At that time, the flood insurance program lapsed because Congress had adjourned without passing a reauthorization. It was reauthorized in January of 2003, but the interruption caused widespread concern and threatened to disrupt real estate markets.

Authorization for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been extended twice by Congress this year. The current temporary authorization is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2004. These temporary authorizations were granted to allow Congress to address needed reforms to the program.

PIA is participating with a coalition seeking prompt NFIP renewal that includes the American Insurance Association, the Financial Services Roundtable, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Flood Insurance Servicing Companies Association of America.

There are currently two bills pending in Congress (S. 2238 and H. R. 253) that call for a five-year extension of the NFIP. The House has passed H.R. 253 that reforms and reauthorizes the NFIP.  But in the Senate, Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana) has placed a hold on the flood insurance legislation while she attempts to address various concerns she has with the bill. 

"We are asking all PIA members to contact their Members of Congress with one simple message: renew the flood insurance program before it expires on June 30," Bizzozero said. "While we are continuing to work with lawmakers on reform proposals, reauthorization needs to be the top priority."

"We've been down this road before," Bizzozero said. "We don't need to go there again. Any time gap created by a delay in the reauthorization would cause significant administrative problems and disruption for policyholders. In addition, such an interruption would not be prudent, particularly during the hurricane season."

Approximately 95 percent of the flood insurance sold in the United States is backed by the National Flood Insurance Program.
  
Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses.