Agent Groups Express Appreciation as President Signs Flood Insurance Extension Bill

July 1, 2004

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) and the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents both hailed President Bush’s signature of the Flood Insurance Reform Act (S. 2238), calling the reform measure “a new era for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)” and expressing their “appreciation” for signing the measure, which extends the NFIP through September 2008.

NFIP’s current authorization had been set to expire at midnight June 30. The new law also establishes a pilot mitigation program that will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to target repetitive flood-loss properties. This mitigation provision aims to prevent abuse of the system and save taxpayers, who foot the bill for the flood insurance program, a significant amount of money.

“PIA expresses its thanks to President Bush and all the Members of Congress who worked so diligently to craft this important legislation,” stated PIA National Assistant VP of Federal Affairs Peter Bizzozero. “The certainty afforded by multi-year reauthorization and the common sense reforms included in the bill make it a winning combination for insurance agents and their clients. Insurance industry representatives, private sector lenders, real estate groups, insurance carriers and agents and builders all worked together to bring about this positive result.” The PIA said it would “continue to work with federal officials on implementation of the reforms,” which have been mandated in the legislation.

Justin Roth, Big “I” vice president of federal government affairs said, “We commend President Bush and Congress for renewing this prograJm before the deadline, and we thank Congress for including important provisions, such as the mitigation program, that will save taxpayers millions of dollars. We believe this improved program will better serve the needs of everybody involved, including homeowners in flood zones, taxpayers, federal government administrators, and insurance agents and companies who offer flood policies to the public.”

For more than a year both independent agent associations have have worked with congressional lawmakers for renewal of the program, which covers more than 4.4 million homeowners nationwide.

The agent groups worked closely with leading members of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee to get the measure passed.

“More than a year of hard work and sweat paid off today when President Bush signed this important reauthorization and reform bill,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president of federal government affairs. “The Big ‘I’ and its members are very happy that this vital public program has been renewed.”

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