In Reversal, Flood Insurance Program Resumes Normal Operations During Shutdown

Last Friday evening, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will resume the normal sale of new insurance policies and the renewal of expiring policies.

This order rescinded an earlier decision that halted sales operations by the NFIP because of the current government shutdown and lapse in appropriations.

The reversal came after banking, insurance and political leaders from both parties criticized the halting of sales of new and renewal flood policies. Critics said that FEMA was ignoring the intent of Congress to keep the NFIP operating during a shutdown expressed when on Dec. 21, 2018, it passed legislation that reauthorized the NFIP until May 31, 2019.

Insurance, Banking Groups Balk at Limits on Flood Insurance Operations During Shutdown

Critics also argued that any disruption in sales of flood insurance could hold up real estate closings. “FEMA’s unexpected decision will complicate and delay loan closings for borrowers who are required to carry flood insurance and seek NFIP coverage for as long as the government shutdown continues,” the American Banking Association (ABA) said in a statement earlier yesterday.

FEMA said all NFIP insurers have been directed to resume normal operations immediately and advised that the program will be considered operational since Dec. 21, 2018 without interruption.

Sen. John Kennedy, R- La., a sponsor of the NFIP reauthorization bill, was among the lawmakers trying to get FEMA to restart normal operations.

“It’s taken a lot of phone calls to Washington, D.C., but FEMA finally came around to what I recognized from the beginning. My reauthorization legislation, which was signed by President Trump into law, prevents any disruption to the National Flood Insurance Program,” said Sen. Kennedy.

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Committee on Financial Services, was among those who also urged FEMA to reconsider what she called its “harmful and incorrect interpretation of its authority” and resume its “important work of providing flood insurance.”

This article was originally published by Insurance Journal on December 28, 2018.

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OIA presents John Koetz with Lifetime Achievement Award

GAHANNA, OH – Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) hosted its annual holiday dinner and awards ceremony Dec. 4, 2018 in Columbus.

During the awards portion of the evening, OIA presented independent insurance agent John Koetz with the venerable Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is given to an OIA volunteer who has provided a lifetime of leadership to the association and the independent agent channel.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is elite and only given to select insurance professionals who go above and beyond to serve their industry. Koetz, who is president of the W.E. Davis Insurance Agency in Columbus, is only the 14th person to have received this award in the last 23 years.

Koetz has actively volunteered for OIA since the 1980s. He served on 16 committees and task forces in his tenure, and participated in the initiation of programs which led to the betterment of the association and industry as a whole.

He was named Agent of the Year in 1990 and served as president of the association in 1991-1992. Most notably, he served 17 years on the Advocacy Committee and has provided valuable testimony on legislative issues impacting independent insurance agents.

As an independent insurance agent, Koetz is incredibly passionate about making sure his clients have the right insurance coverage in place to protect their families and businesses.

OIA is proud to present Koetz with the Lifetime Achievement Award, and we are thankful for his dedication to the independent agency channel.


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.


OIA presents Steve Brown with Excellence in Leadership Award

GAHANNA, OH – Ohio Insurance Agents Association hosted its annual holiday dinner and awards ceremony Dec. 4, 2018 in Columbus.

During the awards portion of the evening, OIA presented Steve Brown, of Payne & Brown Insurance Agency in Sunbury, with the Excellence in Leadership award.  Brown is an OIA volunteer who has provided outstanding leadership and service to the association in the preceding year.    

He has actively been involved in OIA for more than 10 years, and even more so within the last two years. When he is asked to volunteer on a committee, chair a meeting or participate on a panel, he does so without hesitation. He can be counted on when OIA and his fellow agents need him.

Brown is always looking out for the best interests of Ohio’s independent agency community. He is also active in his community and spends his time outside of OIA participating on insurance company agent advisory councils and task force groups to support independent agents on changes and key issues within the Industry.

His focus in any open discussion and debate is always on how the issue can help independent agents and he is always leaning forward in the direction for the betterment of all and not the few.

OIA is proud to present Brown with the Excellence in Leadership Award, and we would like to thank him for his service to OIA and the independent agency channel.


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.


OIA presents Norman-Spencer Agency with Community Service Award

GAHANNA, OH – Ohio Insurance Agents Association hosted its annual holiday dinner and awards ceremony Dec. 4, 2018.

During the awards portion of the evening, OIA presented the Norman-Spencer Agency with the Community Service award.  The Norman-Spencer Agency, headquartered in Dayton, created NS Cares to serve its community through the work of their employees. The program provides their employees with opportunities to volunteer for and donate to local, regional and national charitable causes.

Through NS Cares, Norman-Spencer Agency supports more than 30 non-profit organizations across the country, and all donations are given back to community groups like foodbanks, rehabilitation centers, and local chapters of national organizations such as the March of Dimes, Pink Ribbon Girls and Ronald McDonald House.

In the four years since it’s been established, NS Cares has raised more than $200,000 for charities, and volunteers have given hundreds of hours of service.

OIA would like to thank NS Cares and the Norman-Spencer Agency for all that they are doing in their community, and for representing the best parts of the independent insurance industry. 


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.


OIA presents Ohio Mutual Insurance Group with Eagle Award

GAHANNA, OH – Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) hosted its annual holiday dinner and awards ceremony Dec. 4, 2018.

During the awards portion of the evening, OIA presented Ohio Mutual Insurance Group (OMIG), headquartered in Bucyrus, Ohio, with the Eagle Award. This award honors a company that has demonstrated outstanding achievement and performance in the insurance industry.

OMIG earned this award because of their strong focus on innovation and thinking outside the box to provide important resources for independent agents’ long-term success. They also support agent access to resources that help with perpetuation to allow their agents to successfully transition their agencies to new ownership when the time comes.

Additionally, OMIG provides critical training and professional development for new agency partners, ensuring that the industry will continue to provide the right coverage to consumers, now and in the future, through highly skilled independent insurance agents.   

OIA would like to thank Ohio Mutual Insurance Group for their dedication, commitment and partnership with OIA and everlasting support for Ohio’s independent agents.


About Ohio Insurance Agents Association

Ohio Insurance Agents Association (OIA) is the collective voice of 1,300 independent agencies that employ nearly 10,000 Ohioans. We promote, progress and protect the professional advice and guidance only independent insurance agents provide. OIA members write 82 percent of the commercial insurance policies and 44 percent of personal insurance policies in Ohio. OIA helps agents by providing agency valuation, succession planning, generational health, operational benchmarking reports, other business solutions and industry thought leadership.

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