Friday, April 9, 2010

The Washington flood Market Assistance Plan: Will companies step forward?

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has asked about 200 insurers to take part in a voluntary "market assistance plan" (MAP) to help businesses in the Green River Valley find adequate flood coverage. These plans work like a matchmaker, pairing companies needing flood coverage with insurers willing to sell it.

State lawmakers and Gov. Chris Gregoire recently approved legislation granting Kreidler authority to order insurers to form a "Joint Underwriting Association" and sell flood coverage in the heavily industrialized area, which is downstream from the Howard Hanson Dam, if insurance is unavailable.

At legislative hearings in Olympia in January, insurance industry lobbyists told lawmakers they much preferred the voluntary matchmaker approach:

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