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Congress Facing 'Day of Decision' on Insurance Issues

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2005 - Congress is poised to take action on two issues that are critical to insurance consumers, according to the...
November 15, 2005

PIA Urges Approval of Funding for Flood Program, Extension of TRIA

WASHINGTON, November 15, 2005  - Congress is poised to take action on two issues that are critical to insurance consumers, according to the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA).  On Wednesday, November 16, the House Committee on Financial Services will mark up two key bills: one dealing with reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the other extending the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act (TRIA) for two years.

"An insurance doubleheader has been scheduled on Capitol Hill, and from PIA's perspective, Congress needs to hit not one, but two home runs," said PIA Executive Vice President & CEO Len Brevik.

"The first home run Congress needs to hit is extending TRIA," Brevik said. "We are encouraged to see that Rep. Richard Baker (R-Louisiana) has introduced a TRIA extension bill that addresses the concerns of the White House. The bottom line is, America needs TRIA now, as much as it did when it was first enacted in the aftermath of 9/11."

PIA lobbied for the passage of TRIA in 2002 and was honored to be invited to attend the White House bill signing ceremony.  PIA has actively advocated for an extension of the backstop program because it is the only terrorism insurance market that small-to-medium size businesses have.

"The second home run that Congress needs to hit is acting - and acting now - to extend the borrowing authority for the National Flood Insurance Program," Brevik said. "The program needs an increase in borrowing authority to pay claims that have already been filed and continue to be filed. Right now, payments to flood victims who were insured under NFIP are being held hostage by some leaders who want to leverage future reforms. That's not fair to policyholders."

Today, PIA sent an updated series of proposals for NFIP reform to the members of the House Financial Services Committee, while reiterating that the funding extension must be dealt with on an emergency basis. The proposals build on those PIA already submitted to a subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee on October 20, and to the Senate Banking Committee on October 18.

"If I were a member of Congress returning home for the Thanksgiving holiday, I would not want to have to explain to my constituents why their flood insurance claims are being delayed and why they won't be able to get terrorism insurance," Brevik said.

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association which represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses. PIA will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2006.

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