Insurance-industry officials say a two-year National FloodInsurance Program (NFIP) extension, as proposed recently by theFederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is better than thecurrent pattern of short-term extensions—but some associations saythey would still rather see action on a five-year extension withprogram reforms.

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In an April 24 comment in reaction to the FEMA letter toCongress calling for a two-year extension, the IndependentInsurance Agents and Brokers of America (IIABA) supported the FEMAproposal.

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But officials of the National Association of ProfessionalInsurance Agents joined the American Insurance Association and theNational Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in voicingsupport for more certainty: a five-year extension.

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The comments followed a brief conference call FEMA officials hadwith interested parties, including representatives of the P&Cinsurance industry.

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The FEMA briefing followed its message to Congress asking forsupport for a two-year extension. The letter was sent because yetanother short-term extension of the program is scheduled to expireMay 31.

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The current program has been operating on extensions—with somebreaks in the program—since Sept. 30, 2008.

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Charles Symington, senior vice president of government affairsfor the IIABA, says the IIABA supports FEMA's call for a multiyearextension of the NFIP.

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“This program is simply too important to the marketplace andconsumers to be facing the threat of expiration every three to sixmonths,” Symington adds.

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The Senate bill has no name. The House last July passed byoverwhelming vote H.R. 1309, the “Flood Insurance Reform Act of2011.”

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The bill, sponsored by Rep. Judy Biggert, R-Ill., would, amongother provisions, extend the NFIP until Sept. 30, 2016.

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The Senate Banking Committee reported to the floor a similarbill in early September. Floor action has been pending sincethen.

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