[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 79 (Wednesday, April 24, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24310-24311]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-09670]


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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY


Study and Report to Congress on Natural Catastrophes and 
Insurance

AGENCY: Federal Insurance Office, Department of the Treasury.

ACTION: Notice; request for comment; call for papers.

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SUMMARY: Section 100247 of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform 
Act of 2012 (the ``Biggert-Waters Act'' or ``Act'') requires the 
Director of the Federal Insurance Office (``FIO''), an office within 
the Department of the Treasury (``Treasury''), to conduct a study and 
submit a report to Congress on the current state of the market for 
natural catastrophe insurance in the United States.\1\
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    \1\ Public Law 112-141, Sec.  100247, 126 Stat. 916, 967-68 
(2012).
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    In conducting the study and issuing the report, the Director shall 
consult with the National Academy of Sciences, State insurance 
regulators, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance 
and reinsurance industry, policyholders, and other organizations and 
experts, as appropriate. Treasury issues this notice to elicit comment 
from these persons, groups, and the public, to assist FIO with the 
study and the report.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 24, 2013.
    Papers submitted for consideration in the study must be received by 
June 24, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Please submit comments and papers electronically through the 
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, or by mail (if 
hard copy, preferably an original and two copies) to the Federal 
Insurance Office, Attention: Study on Natural Catastrophes and 
Insurance, Room 1319 MT, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220. As postal mail may be subject to 
processing delay, it is recommended that comments and papers be 
submitted electronically. All comments should be captioned with ``Study 
on Natural Catastrophes and Insurance.'' Please include your name, 
group affiliation, if any, address, email address, and telephone 
number(s) in your comment.
    In general, comments received will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov without change, including any business or personal 
information provided. Comments received, including attachments and 
other supporting materials, will be part of the public record and 
subject to public disclosure. Do not enclose any information in your 
comment or supporting materials that you consider confidential or 
inappropriate for public disclosure.
    All comments and papers received will be available for public 
inspection by appointment only at the Reading Room of the Treasury 
Library. To make an appointment, please call the Treasury Library at 
202-622-0990.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Matthew A. McKenney, Federal Insurance 
Office, 202-622-5330 (not a toll free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968. On 
July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Biggert-Waters Act, 
which modified certain aspects of the NFIP and extended that program 
through September 30, 2017.\2\ The Act requires the Director of the FIO 
to conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and 
Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of 
the House of Representatives a report (the Report) ``providing an 
assessment of the current state of the market for natural catastrophe 
insurance in the United States.'' \3\
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    \2\ 42 U.S.C. 4026.
    \3\ 126 Stat. 916, 967 (2012).
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    In addition, the FIO Director must consult with the National 
Academy of Sciences, State insurance regulators, consumer 
organizations, representatives of the insurance and reinsurance 
industry, policyholders, and other organizations and experts, as 
appropriate.\4\ This Notice seeks

[[Page 24311]]

comments from these and other interested parties and the public in 
support of the Report.
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    \4\ 126 Stat. 916, 968 (2012).
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II. General Solicitation for Comments

    The FIO hereby solicits comments, including supporting and 
illustrative information in support of such comments where appropriate 
and available, regarding natural catastrophes and the current state of 
the market for insurance for natural catastrophe perils in the United 
States.

III. Solicitation for Specific Comments

    Please comment on the following considerations: \5\
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    \5\ 126 Stat. 916, 967 (2012).
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    1. The current condition of, as well as the outlook for, the 
availability and affordability of insurance for natural catastrophe 
perils in all regions of the United States, including whether a 
consensus definition of a ``natural catastrophe'' should be established 
and, if so, the terms of that definition;
    2. The current ability of States, communities, and individuals to 
mitigate their natural catastrophe risks, including the affordability 
and feasibility of such mitigation activities;
    a. The current and potential future effects of land use policies 
and building codes on the costs of natural catastrophes in the United 
States;
    b. The percentage of residential properties that are insured for 
earthquake or flood damage in high-risk geographic areas of the United 
States, and the reasons why many such properties lack insurance 
coverage;
    c. The role of insurers in providing incentives for risk mitigation 
efforts;
    3. The current state of catastrophic insurance and reinsurance 
markets and the current approaches in providing insurance protection to 
different sectors of the population of the United States;
    4. The current financial condition of State residual markets and 
catastrophe funds in high-risk regions, including the likelihood of 
insolvency following a natural catastrophe, the concentration of risks 
within such funds, the reliance on postevent assessments and State 
funding, and the adequacy of rates;
    5. The current role of the Federal Government and State and local 
governments in providing incentives for feasible risk mitigation 
efforts and the cost of providing post-natural catastrophe aid in the 
absence of insurance;
    6. Current approaches to insuring natural catastrophe risks in the 
United States;
    a. Current and potential future Federal, State, and regional 
partnerships that support private, direct insurance coverage;
    b. The potential privatization of flood insurance in the United 
States; and,
    7. Such other information that may be necessary or appropriate for 
the Report.

IV. Call for Papers

    The FIO also calls for the submission of papers containing 
empirical or non-empirical analyses or evaluations of natural 
catastrophes and the current state of the market for insurance for 
natural catastrophe perils in the United States. The FIO seeks papers 
either recently completed or those that will be completed prior to 
close of the Report. We encourage contributions by researchers from 
academia, States and State agencies, business organizations, insurance 
trade and professional associations, research consulting firms, and 
other organizations and experts. Possible topics may include but are 
not limited to topics that may be addressed in the Report.

Michael T. McRaith,
Director, Federal Insurance Office.
[FR Doc. 2013-09670 Filed 4-23-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-25-P