PIA lobbies Congress on important federal issues
Members of PIACT met with their respective congressional offices as part of the 2023 PIA National Advocacy Day program that offers agents the chance to meet with federal policymakers on the issues that matter most to them.
This year, meetings were held with representatives for Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Rep. Rose DeLauro, D-3; Rep. Jahana Hayes, D-5; and Rep. Jim Himes, D-4.
The PIA delegation included: PIACT President J. Kyle Dougherty, CIC; PIACT President-elect Nick Ruickoldt, CPIA; PIACT past President Timothy G. Russell, CPCU; CTYIP President Ryan Kelly; PIA Northeast Director of Government & Industry Affairs Bradford J. Lachut, Esq.; and PIA Northeast Government Affairs Specialist Theophilus “Theo” Alexander.
Discussions concentrated on a long-term reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program. PIA supports the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program because the program continues to provide critical support to those whose properties are at risk of and affected by floods. The NFIP offers coverage that is more broadly and universally available than the coverage supplied by the burgeoning private market.
The NFIP’s most recent five-year reauthorization expired on Sept. 30, 2017. Leading up to that deadline, the 115th Congress was unable to agree on reforms to the program, and the NFIP briefly lapsed three times. Since the 2017 deadline, the NFIP has been subject to over two dozen extensions, but none longer than one year. The program is currently set to expire on Sept. 30, 2023.
PIA will continue to urge Congress, at a minimum, to act to protect consumers from the uncertainty associated with even a potential lapse in the program. We will continue to encourage Congress to pass a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP that includes key reforms and recognizes the essential role independent agents play in delivering the program to consumers.
PIA supports the following provisions, should they be included in any long-term reform and reauthorization bill:
- maintenance of the Write-Your-Own reimbursement rate at its current level of 29%;
- establishment of continuous coverage protections for policyholders who leave the NFIP to purchase a private flood policy and later return to the program;
- allowance for policyholders to purchase additional increased cost-of-compliance coverage and to use it for pre-disaster mitigation;
- allocation of increased funds for new mapping initiatives and mapping updates;
- continuation of the gradual implementation of actuarially sound rates;
- institution of claims process improvements;
- investment in robust agent training curricula for those participating in the NFIP; and
- creation of an Agent Advisory Council.
The flood insurance discussion continued with the following issues:
- preventing a cut in agent NFIP commissions;
- the perils of NFIP direct-to-consumer sales (PIA has substantial concerns about the perils of implementing a direct-to-consumer option); and
- Write-Your-Own reimbursement and the importance of an agent's value to the process.