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PIA Applauds Action by House Financial Services Committee to Reauthorize NFIP for Five Years

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2010 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) applauds the House Financial Services Committee for approving a...
April 28, 2010

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2010  -   The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) applauds the House Financial Services Committee for approving a bill that would reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for five years and make other key reforms to the program.

"PIA applauds the House Financial Services Committee for advancing a bill with a five-year reauthorization of the flood insurance program," said PIA National President-elect Brian Marino, co-chair of the association's natural catastrophe working group. "Moving forward with a five-year reauthorization is key to eliminating the uncertainty that has been created by two years of short-term reauthorizations combined with periodic lapses in the program."

The bill, approved by the committee April 27, also delays implementation of new rate maps for flood zones so that homeowners newly included in a flood zone will not face an immediate new insurance cost and calls for a range of administrative changes meant to make the program function more efficiently.

The Flood Insurance Reform Priorities Act of 2010 (H.R. 5114) phases in actuarial property rates, phases out premium subsidies for second and vacation homes and makes business interruption and additional living expense coverages available at actuarial cost. It also increases NFIP coverage limits.

"The reauthorization combined with key reforms will restore stability in the market," Marino said. "We are pleased that the committee opted to provide for the full five-year extension as we recommended, rather than adopting a shorter reauthorization. We urge the full House and Senate to follow suit and act on this legislation promptly."

PIA also reiterated its opposition to the Multiple Peril Insurance Act (H.R. 1264) which would add wind damage coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program. H.R. 1264 was also approved by the House Financial Services Committee on April 27. PIA believes that combining the two perils in the NFIP would cause coverage confusion and spur litigation.

"The Committee took a big step toward providing stability in the marketplace and providing commercial and residential property owners additional protection," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker. "We urge the House and Senate to act as swiftly as possible, as another expiration of the program is looming." In early April, Congress passed a short-term reauthorization of the NFIP which will expire May 31.

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.

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