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PIA Applauds House Passage of H.R. 3139 Extending National Flood Insurance Program

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2009 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today applauded passage of a six-month extension of the National...
July 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, July 29, 2009  - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today applauded passage of a six-month extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the flood insurance program needs a major overhaul, but his committee has been too busy dealing with the collapse of the financial system to give the program the time and consideration it needs.

The House passed the extension by voice vote.

"The National Flood Insurance Program fulfills a critical need for the American economy," said Brian T. Marino, co-chair of the natural catastrophe working group for PIA. "PIA strongly supports H.R. 3139. It is critical to extend the authorization of the flood insurance program to assure continuity. PIA agrees that reform measures are important to the future of the program, but getting the reforms right is critical and clearly needs further consideration. PIA's principal concern is that there is no lapse in the flood insurance coverage that is vitally important for homeowners and businesses as reform measures are considered."

Efforts to enact comprehensive reforms to the NFIP have been stymied in recent years over two issues: proposals to add coverage for wind damage to the flood program and forgiving the nearly $20 billion debt amassed by the program as a result of catastrophic storms in 2004 and 2005. PIA opposes inclusion of wind coverage in the NFIP program and supports debt forgiveness.

"The NFIP provides an important service to people and communities that are affected by  flooding events," said Bill McGraw, co-chair of the natural catastrophe working group for PIA. "Congress should move without delay to reauthorize the program by passing H.R. 3139, while also keeping the reform process on a fast track."

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. PIA members are Local Agents Serving Main Street America(SM). PIA's web address is www.pianet.com.