The Flood Insurance Producers National Committee (FIPNC) was formed by the Federal Insurance Administrator in 1982 with the express directive to assist the National Flood Insurance Program with improving and expanding.
It is made up of members from the nation’s three major insurance agent trade associations: the Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers, Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America, and National Association of Professional Insurance Agents.
Each association has two representatives, with one serving as the primary with voting power. Every two years, the chair position rotates among the associations, and The Council just finished its two-year term, with Patrice Collingwood, senior vice president at Marsh, serving as chair. As head of flood insurance placements at Marsh, Collingwood has brought valuable expertise in placing commercial flood insurance to FIPNC. Lisa Meola, condominium department manager and senior flood advocate at the J. Byrne Agency in Wildwood, New Jersey, serves as alternate and brings multifamily property expertise to the group. While commercial policies make up less than 5% of the 4.7 million NFIP policies in place, The Council’s strength is bringing this perspective to the table.
Typically FIPNC meets three or four times a year with senior members of the Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), which manages NFIP, to provide feedback from agents placing NFIP policies. As chair, Collingwood has organized these meetings and worked directly with FIMA on topics including how to best educate agents, how to increase the number of policies in force and, of course, Risk Rating 2.0 (RR 2.0).
On the topic of RR 2.0, it has been an interesting two years for FIPNC as agents and brokers have been trying to carefully navigate a new rating scheme that is both frustrating and necessary. Many meetings were held among FIPNC members and with FIMA to discuss the intricacies of how agents and brokers place NFIP policies and how they work with the insurance companies that offer those policies, known as Write Your Own (WYO). There certainly are still kinks in RR 2.0, but FIPNC is helping FIMA navigate them and is calling attention to the most frustrating aspects, such as properly applying CRS (Community Rating System) discounts, determining whether elevation certificates are needed, and correctly rating a commercial property when it’s a mixed-use building with multiple owners.
As of Nov. 1, IIABA has taken over as chair of FIPNC, but The Council will remain an active presence and will continue to bring the commercial perspective to NFIP.