WASHINGTON , Aug. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A report that contradicts previous findings regarding the benefits of establishing a national catastrophe backstop was strongly criticized by the nation's leading coalition of first responders, insurers, large and small businesses and more than 15,000 individuals who are concerned about preparing and protecting American families and taxpayers from massive natural catastrophes like earthquakes and hurricanes.
"The report issued today by Americans for Smart Natural Catastrophe Policy makes erroneous assumptions, misreads the specific aspects of pending legislation and comes to conclusions that are designed to serve the needs of the interests that fund this organization, and not the American taxpayer," said David A. Smith , a director of ProtectingAmerica.org.
"While the consultants who prepared the report would like readers to believe that the status quo of demanding ever higher insurance rates and hoping for the best is the solution to the concerns of the 6-in-10 American families that live in areas vulnerable to massive hurricanes and earthquakes, that system, like their report, is fundamentally flawed," Smith said.
"The House of Representatives, by an overwhelming 258-155 margin, considered this kind of rhetorical gimmickry, saw it for what it was, and in a bipartisan show of support for American taxpayers and families, approved the national catastrophe fund legislation, HR 3355," he added.
"HR 3355 is an integrated solution that creates a partnership between primary insurers, reinsurers, state governments and the National government. It will increase capacity, eliminate subsidies in the current system and offer coverage at lower costs to consumers than today's system," Smith said.
Contrary to the reinsurance-funded report, HR 3355, the Homeowners' Defense Act of 2007, in conjunction with state catastrophe funds, would:
Among the panoply of flawed premises, miscalculations and misunderstandings, are the following immediate facts and observations:
ProtectingAmerica.org was formed in 2005 and is a non-profit organization consisting of emergency management officials, first responders, disaster relief experts, insurers and others. Its members include the American Red Cross, the International Association of Fire Fighters, more than 300 other organizations and businesses and more than 15,000 individuals from across the nation.
The non-partisan organization is chaired by James lee Witt and Admiral James M. Loy . Mr. Witt served for eight years as the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Admiral Loy was formerly the deputy secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security and formerly served as commandant of the United States Coast Guard.
At the core of ProtectingAmerica.org's mission is the establishment of a comprehensive, integrated national catastrophe management solution that will better prepare and protect American families, communities, consumers and the American economy from catastrophe. Among its efforts to support this mission, ProtectingAmerica.org is working to increase public awareness and consumer education; advocate for better coordination with local, state and federal mitigation and recovery efforts, and strengthen emergency response and financial mechanisms to rebuild after a major catastrophe.