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Statement by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents on Short Term Extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents is pleased that Congress included a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, allowing the program to continue through December 8th, in a just-passed urgent legislative package that provides funding for hurricane relief and other priorities...
September 8, 2017

The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) is pleased that Congress included a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), allowing the program to continue through December 8th, in a just-passed urgent legislative package that provides funding for hurricane relief and other priorities.

We view this short-term extension as a chance for Congress to provide taxpayers with the financial stability such a program requires by passing an essential long-term reauthorization of the NFIP. It has become apparent during this historic hurricane season that far too few homeowners have flood insurance, a situation that must be changed. Legislation providing for a long term reauthorization of the flood insurance program should be one that balances helping policyholders in need with ensuring the future financial viability of the NFIP.

PIA opposes the flood legislative package that passed out of the House Financial Services Committee earlier this year because it would hurt consumers by making it more difficult for them to get flood insurance. It would lower the reimbursement rate paid to NFIP carriers, who reimburse independent agents who sell the policies, from that rate. Lowering the carrier reimbursement rate would discourage sales of flood policies, precisely when what the NFIP—and the taxpayer—need most is for more homeowners to have flood insurance.

Cutting the reimbursement rate paid to carriers, without a specific and robust protection for agents, would be irresponsible because it would lead to fewer properties being insured against floods. Instead, the goal should be to greatly increase the number of properties covered by flood insurance offered by both the NFIP and the private sector, to ensure that consumers are protected.

In the aftermath of recent disasters, and, unfortunately, with more to come in the future, we encourage lawmakers to seize the opportunity provided by the short-term extension of the NFIP through December 8 to engage in considered deliberations on a long-term reauthorization that provides greater protection to more people and more properties. Now is not the time to play politics with flood insurance.

Jon Gentile

Vice President, Government Relations

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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