PIA National Applauds the Passage of Bipartisan
Reauthorization in House Committee
The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA National) applauds
the passage of bipartisan legislation in the House Financial Services Committee to
reform the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and reauthorize it for five
years. The compromise bill was released June 6 by House Financial Services Committee
Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC). The NFIP
is currently slated to expire September 30, 2019 and is on its 12th short term
extension since 2017.
"After nearly two years of seemingly never-ending short-term extensions, PIA National
thanks Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry for working together in a bipartisan
way to pass this common-sense legislation out of the Financial Services Committee," said
PIA National vice president of government relations Jon Gentile. "Their leadership has
ended the treatment of the NFIP as a political hot potato, which has been unfair and
even dangerous for the millions of NFIP policyholders, as well as those who have been
impacted by flooding events."
The legislation recognizes and preserves the critical role of the independent agent,
provides continuous coverage protections to policyholders who leave the NFIP to purchase
a private flood policy and return to the program, makes important investments in mitigation,
and increases funds for mapping. In addition, the bill maintains grandfathering and the
gradual implementation of actuarially sound rates.
Notable for PIA members is the absence of any provision that would impede the ability of
independent agents to be fairly compensated for their work on the notoriously complicated
flood program. Such a provision was included in legislation that passed the House last
Congress. PIA National led the effort to encourage members to leave out such a provision
in the NFIP legislation passed by the committee today.
Another bill to reform the NFIP, the National Flood Insurance Program Administrative
Reform Act, sponsored by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), was also considered and passed
by the committee. PIA supports this legislation, as it includes many of the priorities
PIA National has been advocating for, like making common-sense reforms to the policyholder
appeals procedure, improving aspects of the claims process, and creating a Federal Flood
Insurance Advisory Committee with insurance agent representation. Perhaps most notable
for PIA members is the section strengthening disclosure requirements included in standard
flood insurance policies.
"The disclosure provision will make the options for and limitations of a standard flood
insurance policy clearer to policyholders and include a disclosure acknowledgment sheet
that will protect independent agents selling NFIP policies," Gentile added.
PIA National calls on the full House to swiftly pass both bills, which may be merged into
one NFIP reauthorization package. The Senate should also pass this bipartisan agreement.
"Thanks to the leadership of Chairwoman Waters and Ranking Member McHenry, we now have a
bipartisan way forward to reauthorize the NFIP," said Gentile. "The Senate should not let
the perfect get in the way of the possible. Once the legislation passes the House, PIA
National calls on the Senate to take up the House NFIP bill and pass it without delay.
The time for partisan squabbling is over. It's time to act."