Flood Extension Tops Legislative Agenda for Trade Groups

Sep 1, 2011

The following article was published in PropertyCasualty360º on September 1, 2011:

Flood extension tops legislative agenda for trade groups

By Arthur D. Postal

Working to ensure enactment of a long-term National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) extension is the top priority of property and casualty insurance industry trade groups as Congress prepares to return to work Tuesday.

Ben McKay, senior vice president of federal government relations for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, sums it up for P&C lobbying groups when he says: “Our top priority moving into September is passing a long-term extension for the NFIP. Hurricane Irene underscored the urgency for addressing the flood program.”

Charles Symington, senior vice president, government affairs, for the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA), adds, “One of our most pressing issues, and certainly the most time sensitive, is ensuring that Congress passes an extension of the NFIP.

Symington says the IIABA “strongly supports” H.R. 1309, the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2011, which would extend the program until Sept. 30, 2016, but the Senate Banking Committee has yet to consider such legislation.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., “makes needed reforms, and we are hopeful that the Senate will swiftly work on their own reform and long-term extension language,” Symington explains.

However, he notes that the IIABA is also urging Congress to quickly consider a short-term extension to the NFIP as a fallback option to ensure the program does not lapse.

Jimi Grande, senior vice president of federal and political affairs for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, says, “The damage from Hurricane Irene should bring a focus on flood issues, but the fact is Congress already had more than enough incentive to act given the NFIP expires. Even before Irene flooded parts of the Northeast, historic levels of flooding this year have affected communities across the United States.”

The flood program is set to expire on Sept. 30 unless Congress acts to extend it.

 Find this article here:  http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2011/09/01/flood-extension-tops-legislative-agenda-for-trade