GOP Platform Calls for Natural Disaster Insurance Reform

September 5, 2008

The Republican National Committee pledged its support to improve federal natural disaster insurance as part of its platform. The GOP’s support of federal disaster insurance reform follows the Democratic National Committee’s platform call to develop a National Catastrophic Insurance Fund in late August.

“Last week, Democrats made history by being the first to address America’s physical and financial preparedness for catastrophe. This week, Republicans voiced their support for strengthening America’s disaster insurance system,” said Ed Collins, national director of

The RNC’s platform was adopted on Monday, Sept. 2. In the section titled, “Domestic Disaster Response,” (pg. 18), the GOP platform says:

“Americans hit by disaster must never again feel abandoned by their government. The Katrina disaster taught a painful lesson: The federal government’s system for responding to a natural calamity needs a radical overhaul. We recognize the need for a natural disaster insurance policy.

“State and local cooperation is crucial, as are private relief efforts, but Washington must take the lead in forging a partnership with America’s best run businesses to ensure that FEMA’s Emergency Operations Centers run as well as any Fortune 500 company. We must make it easier for both businesses and non-profits to act as force-multipliers in relief situations. We believe it is critical to support those impacted by natural disasters and to complete the rebuilding of devastated areas, including the Gulf Coast.”

The DNC’s platform was adopted on Monday, Aug. 25. In the section titled, “Preventing and Responding to Future Catastrophes,” (pg. 41), the Platform says:

“We will also work to prevent future catastrophic response failures, whether the emergency comes from hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, wild fires, drought, bridge collapses, or any other natural or man-made disaster….

“We will develop a National Catastrophic Insurance Fund to offer an affordable insurance mechanism for high-risk catastrophes that no single private insurer can cover by itself for fear of bankruptcy. This will allow states to deal comprehensively with the economic dislocation of natural disasters.”

The action by the DNC and RNC platforms echo the strong bipartisan support demonstrated by the House of Representatives when it passed, by a 258-155 margin, the Homeowners’ Defense Act of 2007, says Collins.

“ has long advocated a national catastrophe fund that will work for all Americans and we are thrilled that reform is a priority for both parties. An integrated private-public partnership can increase mitigation and education before catastrophe strikes, enhance responsiveness during a catastrophe and assure the resources are available so homeowners can recover in the aftermath of massive natural events like devastating hurricanes and enormous earthquakes,” Collins said.


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