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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE REGULATORS URGE SENATE TO PASS FLOOD INSURANCE BILL QUICKLY
Long-term extension of national flood program critical to market stability

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2012) — In a letter to Senate leadership and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee, members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) urged prompt action on a long-term reauthorization and reform of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) before the latest extension expires at the end of July. Continued stop-gap reauthorizations of the NFIP cause disruption in both the insurance and housing markets. It is anticipated that the Senate will consider a five-year extension in the coming days.

“Temporary extensions, like the current two-month version, impair consumers‘ ability to plan ahead, a critical consideration when purchasing insurance,” said NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty. “In the last four years, we‘ve had 17 extensions and multiple lapses of the program, leaving consumers vulnerable to any number of natural disasters that cause flooding.”

The NAIC supports the reforms included in the Senate bill to provide long-term solvency to the program as well as enhanced consumer protections. In particular, the Senate bill includes NAIC-supported non-binding mediation language, a provision not included in the House version.

“I am hopeful that the Senate will take action this week, and will quickly conference with the House to reach consensus on a final measure,” added NAIC President-Elect and Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon. “Clearly, living in Louisiana, I have a vested interest in this program, but just last year 44 states were impacted by disasters, the majority of which included flooding. This is not a local or coastal issue, but one that impacts nearly every state across the country.”

The NFIP is a federal program, managed by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) that provides flood insurance, floodplain management and maps of flood hazard zones. Through the NFIP, property owners in participating communities can buy insurance to protect against flood losses. Participating communities are required to establish management regulations in order to reduce future flood damages.

Click HERE for a copy of the letter.
Click HERE for more information on the NFIP.
Click HERE for consumer information on disaster preparedness.

About the NAIC

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization created and governed by the chief insurance regulators from the 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight. NAIC staff supports these efforts and represents the collective views of state regulators domestically and internationally. NAIC members, together with the central resources of the NAIC, form the national system of state-based insurance regulation in the U.S. For more information, visit www.naic.org.

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