With the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) now extended until September 30th, 2019, the House Financial Services Committee is turning its attention to reauthorizing the program long-term. The Committee is likely to hold a markup, or committee consideration of legislation, soon.
PIA National has been advocating for a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP that includes common sense reforms and recognizes the key role of independent agents in delivering this vital program to consumers. This past April, PIA members from around the country advocated for NFIP reform at the 2019 Federal Legislative Summit. Through those meetings, and in meetings before and since, we’ve made clear our priorities for a reauthorization of the program. As part of that effort, this week, PIA National sent a letter to the Chairwoman and Ranking Member of the Financial Services Committee reiterating many of our priorities, like preserving the role of the independent agent, including a continuous coverage provision, and balancing the competing priorities of achieving risk-based rates and maintaining policy affordability.
For years, PIA National has made our top priority pushing back against any provision that would lead to a reduction in commissions for agents selling NFIP policies. We are proud to be the only agent association to have done so steadfastly and unwaveringly. The NFIP is a complicated program, and it is in dire need of a greater number of policies-in-force. Reducing agent commissions will lead to fewer agents selling NFIP products and thus fewer consumers purchasing them. PIA National has been working closely with the leadership and members of the House Financial Services Committee to explain why any reduction in the Write-Your-Own expense allowance would be bad for agents and therefore bad for consumers. While we are also advocating for other reforms to the program, we remain dedicated to ensuring no harm is done to agent commissions.