American Property Casualty Insurance Association
  • Staff Contact: Eileen Gilligan     
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Contact:

Eileen Gilligan

Phone:

202-639-0497

Email:

Eileen.Gilligan@pciaa.net

 

 

FOR RELEASE ON RECEIPT

July 23, 2014

PCI Member Testifies on Progress on Implementation of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act

 

WASHINGON – Patty Templeton-Jones, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Wright National Flood, testified today on behalf of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security on the hearing entitled “Insuring Our Future: Building a Flood Insurance Program We Can Live With, Grow With, and Prosper With.”

“We have some significant victories to discuss and some challenges and issues that remain, but overall, the implementation of the Homeowners Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA) has gone more smoothly than that of Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act (BW-12),” said Templeton-Jones. “National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) staff have worked cooperatively with the “Write-Your-Owns” (WYO) through the implementation of HFIAA. This important interaction is the product of a provision included in HFIAA requiring the NFIP to communicate regularly throughout the HFIAA implementation process. This newfound cooperation has allowed the NFIP and the WYOs to move forward with HFIAA implementation significantly more quickly and more accurately than was possible under BW-12 and faster than was envisioned earlier this year when HFIAA was taking shape.”

“However, that doesn’t mean there haven’t been challenges,” continued Templeton-Jones. “The WYOs understood the need to implement the HFIAA changes “immediately” and worked cooperatively with the NFIP to expedite deadlines, despite the extra costs, hours, and significant number of changes required.“

With the major sections of HFIAA implementation underway, there are still other provisions of the bill and BW-12 to address. HFIAA also established the office of the Flood Insurance Advocate. “We understand that the NFIP has established the goal of filling that position by the end of this year and hope the NFIP will be able to find candidates with both an understanding of mapping and flood insurance, as both will be needed for the Flood Advocate to best serve policyholders and the program,” continued Templeton-Jones.

Templeton-Jones also highlights observations that would strengthen the flood program. “PCI recognizes that strong building codes and responsible land use policies are crucial for all stakeholders to promote public safety and to be as prepared as possible for the next hurricane, tornado, or flood event.” In addition, “Consumers need to be educated about the importance of having flood insurance and encouraged to continue purchasing it.”

“Wright National Flood and PCI will continue to work Congress and FEMA to assure the accurate implementation of BW-12 and the HFIAA while looking ahead for ways to continue to improve the NFIP and flood risk management in the United States,” concluded Templeton-Jones.

Wright National Flood is a WYO flood insurance partner with the NFIP and through the WYO program, Wright National is the largest writer of flood insurance in the nation. Wright National Flood and PCI supported both the passage of BW-12 and the HFIAA.

Templeton-Jones’ written testimony is attached.

PCI is composed of more than 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross-section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write over $195 billion in annual premium, 39 percent of the nation’s property casualty insurance. Member companies write 46 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 32 percent of the homeowners market, 37 percent of the commercial property and liability market, and 41 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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