Washington – Legislation introduced in the House aimed at revamping the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is garnering praise. H.R. 3959, sponsored by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), proposes to gradually phase out some of the subsidies in the program.

Among those in favor of the bill is The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”). “The Big ‘I’ strongly supports this legislation that would help put the NFIP on more sound financial footing,” says Charles E. Symington Jr., Big “I” senior VP for government affairs and federal relations. “This will make the flood program more actuarially sound and more effective at serving both consumers and taxpayers. We thank Congressman Garrett and Chairman Frank for introducing this legislation.”

The bill would require any purchaser of a pre-FIRM primary residential home that costs $600,000 or higher to pay phased-in actuarial flood insurance prices using the same phase-in structure that non-residential and non-primary homes are currently subject to in the Flood Insurance Reform and Modernization (FIRM) Act as passed by the House of Representatives. The phase-out of subsidies for pre-FIRM properties is one of the Big “I’s” 23-point recommendations for reforming the NFIP for the future.

“The Big ‘I’ strongly supports the NFIP gradually moving towards actuarially sound rates,” says John Prible, Big “I” assistant VP for federal government affairs. “We recognize that the NFIP’s need for financial stability must be measured against fairness to the customers we serve, which is why we believe it is important that this legislation is aimed at homes valued at over $600,000, and includes a phase-in mechanism.”

Source: Big “I”

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