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Committee Approves Homeowners’ Insurance Reform Bill

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Washington, DC, April 27, 2010 | comments

Today, the House Financial Services Committee approved by a vote of 39-26 the Homeowners’ Defense Act, innovative bipartisan legislation to reduce insurance premiums for homeowners around the country.

The Homeowners’ Defense Act, authored by Rep. Ron Klein (D-FL) and co-sponsored by more than 70 of his colleagues representing over 30 states, allows states that choose to participate to join a national catastrophe insurance pool that will drive down costs. The pool could include the risk for hurricanes in Florida, earthquakes in California, mudslides in Colorado, wildfires in Arizona, tornadoes in Kansas and more.

“Today marks an important step forward as we continue fighting to bring down homeowners’ insurance costs for hard-working families,” Klein said. “By working across party lines with Democrats, Republicans and Independents, we have passed a private-market solution to drive down premiums and make a real difference for homeowners around the country.”

“The Federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina has unfortunately created an expectation that the government will provide similar financial assistance in future disasters,” said Rep. John Campbell (R-CA). “This bill would instead give states, including my home state of California, the tools to set up effective disaster insurance programs by sharing risks across the country.”

“Over the years, homeowners’ insurance rates have skyrocketed in at-risk states, putting a heavy burden on families in Florida and throughout the nation,” said Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-FL). “This bipartisan, common-sense solution will allow states to pool together to make insurance premiums more affordable, protect taxpayer dollars, and help provide peace of mind for working families.”

“This is a positive step toward helping make homeowner's insurance more affordable,” said Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL). “The legislation also takes important steps to help homeowners and localities prepare for future disasters before they occur. Preplanning helps save lives, property and money.”

“Some problems are too big for one person to solve.  Hurricanes are an example of that.  The wake of a hurricane brings lost lives and lost property. If we don’t pass this bill, it will mean bankruptcy for huge numbers of storm victims as well.  People need insurance and deserve to have it. That’s what this bill accomplishes,” Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) said.

In addition to saving families money on their homeowners’ insurance premiums, this legislation also saves every American taxpayer money by taking smart, preventative action before disaster hits. This puts an end to the current system, where taxpayers are stuck with an expensive bill following any major disaster – like the nearly $800 per family paid by American taxpayers in the wake of hurricane Katrina.

The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.

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