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The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) applaud the congressional action taken on January 4, 2013 to raise the borrowing limit for the NFIP, sending relief to badly damaged areas of the northeast still suffering after hurricane Sandy.

A hearing on funding to help flood relief victims was scheduled for January 1, but was canceled by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) just moments after the so-called fiscal cliff deal was approved by the House of Representatives. Lawmakers and politicians in the northeast protested, most notably Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) and Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY). Boehner quickly set a vote for Sandy relief by way of raising the NFIP borrowing limit on January 4th. The House voted and the bill was sent to President Obama for his signature. The bill allows the NFIP to borrow up to $30.425 billion up from $20.775 billion.

PIA happy to move forwardNational Flood Insurance Program borrowing limit increase

PIA National assistant vice president for federal affairs, Mike Becker said, “PIA is pleased that Congress has begun to act to assure that valid claims filed by property owners who are insured under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will continue to be paid.” Becker went on to say that the action by Congress insures that homeowners who suffered from Sandy as well as any future storms will continue to get timely relief. He credits Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) for introducing the bill.

Andrew C Harris, PIA National president, said that not paying valid claims for flood victims is not an option. He says the federal government has a legal obligation to pay to indemnify all policy holders for flood losses covered or backed by the NFIP. The PIA has been lobbying since Sandy hit the east coast for an increase in NFIP borrowing limits and for quick payment to ailing homeowners.

Keeping NFIP on solid footing

Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) is the current chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. During the bill debate he stated that flood policies need to be paid now, but a bill is needed this year to transition to a private flood insurance market. Some reforms were already in place, but hurricane Sandy hit before many came into being. The PIA, while supporting efforts to to make the NFIP more stable, it cautions against privatizing the program.

Founded in 1931, the PIA represents member insurance agents and employees. PIA specializes in auto, home and business insurance, but services all types of insurance nationally.

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