Big ‘I’ Pleased with Senate Committee’s Look Involving Flood Program

October 18, 2005

The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”) said Tuesday it is pleased that Congress is taking up the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how to improve it.

The Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday held a hearing to take a look at the program’s structure and whether the program is actuarially viable. It is possible that legislation could be the end result of this hearing and a House Financial Services Committee hearing planned for Thursday.

“It is appropriate for Congress to take a good look at this very important program and determine if there are ways to strengthen its viability for the benefit of consumers,” said Charles Symington Jr., Big “I” senior vice president for government affairs and federal relations. “We strongly support a careful examination of this crucial program, and any viable legislation that would help strengthen it and shore it up for generations to come.”

One of the crucial questions surrounding this week’s hearings is whether the NFIP should be more proactive in mandating mitigation for property owners whose homes lie in active flood plains.

“Repetitive flood losses are a very important issue, both for independent agents and brokers and for consumers as well,” added Patrick O’Brien, Big “I” director of federal government affairs. “Multiple losses that affect the same property are bad for the program and drive up prices for all consumers, so this is an issue that certainly needs to be addressed, and as quickly as possible.”

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