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PIA Statement on Passage of House Flood Legislation

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has issued the following statement on the House’s passage of H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act:
November 14, 2017

WASHINGTON — The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) has issued the following statement on the House’s passage of H.R. 2874, the 21st Century Flood Reform Act:

PIA opposed the bill over the provision that cuts the Write-Your-Own (WYO) reimbursement rate paid to insurance companies that participate in the NFIP by 3 percentage points. The WYO reimbursement rate is the vehicle by which agents receive their commissions for selling NFIP policies. Many WYO carriers have stated that, for them to remain in the program, they will pass on the cut to agents through their commissions.

PIA National Vice President of Government Relations Jon Gentile said:

“H.R. 2874 includes some important reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), such as revamping mapping and mitigation programs and including a mechanism for consumers and communities to appeal FEMA decisions. Notably, PIA is pleased with the inclusion of language to incentivize the growth of the private flood market, which we strongly support.

“Despite these positive aspects, PIA opposes H.R. 2874 because it contains a provision that will hurt consumers, agents, and the program itself going forward.

“One of the goals of reforming the NFIP is to increase sales of policies, especially preferred risk policies, to put the program on a firmer financial footing. Reducing agent compensation undermines that goal by applying a disincentive for agents to increase sales. Such a cut will force agents who currently sell flood insurance to leave the program, because it will become prohibitively expensive for agents to continue to sell flood insurance, and it will discourage new agents from entering the NFIP policy market.

“PIA will continue to work with Congress to provide a strong and robust protection for agent compensation, so consumers will have the expertise they need to navigate the NFIP, and the program itself can achieve the increased level of participation it requires to be financially strong.”

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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