Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:29 pm
President George W. Bush recently signed into law the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, which reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), through 2008.
The reauthorization was hailed by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Cos. (NAMIC).
"NAMIC applauds President Bush for signing this bill into law as it was due to expire (June 30)," said David A. Winston, NAMIC federal affairs senior vice president.
Congress created the NFIP in 1968 to address the increasing costs of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods.
Prior to the law, many homeowners were unable to insure against flood losses because private insurers did not offer such coverage. However, in recent years, there has been more awareness of the problem of providing continuing assistance to repetitive loss properties.
"These reforms will help FEMA reduce the amount of money spent on frequently flooded properties," said Winston. "NAMIC believes that it is entirely reasonable to require homeowners who live in flood-prone areas to take advantage of mitigation measures offered by FEMA as a condition of receiving future disaster relief," Winston said.
NAMIC is a full-service national trade association with more than 1,350 member companies that underwrite 41 percent ($170 billion) of the property/casualty insurance premiums in the United States.
The reauthorization of the flood insurance program is one of several legislative issues being monitored by NAMIC.
The most notable trends to surface among this year’s new property/casualty insurance enactments are state laws pertaining to motor vehicle insurance and workers’ compensation.
About 20 percent of the new property/casualty state laws identified this year pertain to motor vehicle insurance. A total of 18 states approved 39 new motor vehicle laws this year, the majority of which pertain directly to driving under the influence (DUI), seatbelt or child safety standards or proof of insurance requirements.
More than 15 percent of the new laws are specific to workers’ compensation. Thirty-one workers’ compensation measures were approved in 17 states this year, and the majority of the new laws address either specific benefit or claims eligibility, the role of the state workers’ compensation regulator or comprehensive technical and substantive revisions to the state’s workers’ compensation chapters.
A large portion of the new laws were enacted in a small handful of states.
NAMIC will conduct its annual convention with the theme of "Prospering in a Changing Environment," Sept. 19-22, at the Hilton Washington Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event will include an agenda planned specifically for property and casualty insurance companies.
Further information the convention and other NAMIC issues is available at the NAMIC Web site, www.namic.org.
July 9, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI