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PIA Praises House for Passing The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309)

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the House of Representatives for passing the Flood Insurance...
July 13, 2011

WASHINGTON, July 13, 2011  - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) praised the House of Representatives for passing the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011 (H.R. 1309) to extend the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for a full five years and enact key reforms to put the program on a firm financial footing. The vote was 406-22.

"This is good news for taxpayers, consumers and the real estate market," said PIA National Executive Vice President & CEP Leonard C. Brevik. "This overwhelming bipartisan vote demonstrates that there is broad, bipartisan consensus that the NFIP is a vital component of America's economic prosperity that provides protection from flooding."

The NFIP provides protection for more than 5.6 million people from floods. Authorization for the program is set to expire September 30.

"We are extremely encouraged by the passage of H.R. 1309 and are thankful for Rep. Judy Biggert's dedication to getting a comprehensive reform bill through the House," said PIA National Director of Federal Affairs Mike Becker. "This long-term reauthorization works toward achieving actuarially sounds rates and will bring back certainty to the marketplace. Our nation has been battling major flooding for months, and the House's action could not be more timely."

Among reform provisions, the bill phases in risk-based premiums, and phases out subsidies for certain properties, including high-risk buildings subject to repeat claims and confirms FEMA's authority to utilize private reinsurance in lieu of taxpayer exposure to mitigate risk.

The House defeated an amendment by Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would have stripped provisions allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from being allowed to offer optional and actuarially priced business interruption (BI) and additional living expenses (ALE) coverage. The vote was 118-305. "Since these coverages are only offered in the private market on a covered peril basis, this amendment would have placed severe restrictions on their availability and made NFIP policies less viable," said Becker. PIA opposed the amendment.

Lawmakers also voted overwhelmingly to defeat an amendment offered by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) which would have abolished the NFIP by January 2012. "The critical importance of the NFIP and widespread support for the program were underscored by the defeat of this attempt to eliminate it, which failed to garner any real support." PIA opposed the amendment.

PIA encourages the Senate to act quickly to pass H.R. 1309, well before the NFIP's scheduled expiration in September.

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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