National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); Assistance to Private Sector Property Insurers, Notice of FY 2020 Arrangement, 18063-18069 [2019-08605]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement (Arrangement) with private sector property insurers, also known as Write Your Own (WYO) companies, to sell NFIP flood insurance policies under their own names and adjust and pay claims arising under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). Each Arrangement entered into by a WYO company must be in the form and substance of the standard Arrangement, a copy of which is published in the Federal Register annually, at least 6 months prior to becoming effective. See 44 CFR 62.23(a). DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID FEMA–2019–0009] National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); Assistance to Private Sector Property Insurers, Notice of FY 2020 Arrangement Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Federal Emergency Management Agency announces the Fiscal Year 2020 Financial Assistance/ Subsidy Arrangement for private property insurers interested in participating in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Write Your Own Program. SUMMARY: Interested insurers must submit intent to subscribe or re-subscribe to the Arrangement by July 29, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Read, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C St. SW, Washington, DC 20472 (mail); (202) 315–8423 (phone); or Andrew.Read@fema.dhs.gov (email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES I. Background The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA), as amended (42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.), authorizes the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish and carry out a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to enable interested persons to purchase insurance against loss resulting from physical damage to or loss of real or personal property arising from flood in the United States. See 42 U.S.C. 4011(a). Under the NFIA, FEMA has the authority to undertake arrangements to carry out the NFIP through the facilities of the Federal Government, utilizing, for the purposes of providing flood insurance coverage, insurance companies and other insurers, insurance agents and brokers, and insurance adjustment organizations as fiscal agents of the United States. See 42 U.S.C. 4071. To this end, FEMA may ‘‘enter into any contracts, agreements, or other appropriate arrangements’’ with private insurance companies to utilize their facilities and services in administering the NFIP on such terms and conditions as may be agreed upon. See 42 U.S.C. 4081(a). Pursuant to this authority, FEMA enters into a standard Financial VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 II. Notice of Availability Insurers interested in participating in the WYO Program for Fiscal Year 2020 must contact Andrew Read at Andrew.Read@fema.dhs.gov by July 29, 2019. Prior participation in the WYO Program does not guarantee that FEMA will approve continued participation. FEMA will evaluate requests to participate in light of publicly available information, industry performance data, and other criteria listed in 44 CFR 62.24 and the FY 2020 Arrangement, copied below. Private insurance companies are encouraged to supplement this information with customer satisfaction surveys, industry awards or recognition, or other objective performance data. In addition, private insurance companies should work with their vendors and subcontractors involved in servicing and delivering their insurance lines to ensure FEMA receives the information necessary to effectively evaluate the criteria set forth in its regulations. FEMA will send a copy of the offer for the FY 2020 Arrangement, together with related materials and submission instructions, to all private insurance companies successfully evaluated by the NFIP. If FEMA, after conducting its evaluation, chooses not to renew a Company’s participation, FEMA, at its option, may require the continued performance of all or selected elements of the FY 2019 Arrangement for a period required for orderly transfer or cessation of the business and settlement of accounts, not to exceed 18 months. See FY 2019 Arrangement, Article V.C. All evaluations, whether successful or unsuccessful, will inform both an overall assessment of the WYO Program and any potential changes FEMA may consider regarding the Arrangement in future fiscal years. Any private insurance company with questions may contact FEMA at: Andrew Read, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C St. SW, Washington, DC 20472 (mail); PO 00000 Frm 00070 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18063 (202) 315–8423 (phone); or Andrew.Read@fema.dhs.gov (email). III. Fiscal Year 2020 Arrangement Pursuant to 44 CFR 62.23(a), FEMA must publish the Arrangement at least six months prior to the Arrangement becoming effective. The FY 2020 Arrangement provided below is substantially similar to the previous year’s Arrangement. The one substantive change is that WYO companies will be required to comply with any successors to the existing Transaction Record Reporting and Processing (TRRP) Plan. This change is necessary because FEMA is in the process of modernizing key systems of records and reporting processes, including a shift from legacy database systems to the modern PIVOT system of record. The FY 2020 Arrangement also includes several non-substantive edits intended to correct typographical errors and improve the clarity of the writing. The Fiscal Year 2020 Arrangement reads as follows: Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement Article I. Findings, Purposes, and Authority Whereas, the Congress in its ‘‘Finding and Declaration of Purpose’’ in the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, Public Law 90–448, Title XIII, as amended, (‘‘the Act’’ or ‘‘Act’’) recognized the benefit of having the National Flood Insurance Program (the ‘‘Program’’ or ‘‘NFIP’’) ‘‘carried out to the maximum extent practicable by the private insurance industry’’ (Section 1302 of the Act [42 U.S.C. 4001]); and Whereas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (‘‘FEMA’’), which operates the Program through its Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (‘‘FIMA’’), recognizes this Arrangement as coming under the provisions of Sections 1340 and 1345 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 4071 and 4081, respectively); and Whereas, the goal of FEMA is to develop a program with the insurance industry where the risk-bearing role for the industry will evolve as intended by the Congress (Section 1304 of the Act [42 U.S.C. 4011]); and Whereas, Section 205 of the BunningBereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, Public Law 108– 264, as implemented by 44 CFR 62.20, permits Program policyholders to appeal the denial of a claim, completely or in part, to FEMA; and Whereas, the NFIP is a program administered by FEMA, all participants of this Arrangement, and other entities E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 18064 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices operating on their behalf, shall align themselves toward the common purpose of helping survivors and their communities recover from floods by effectively delivering customer-focused flood insurance products and information; and Whereas, the insurer (hereinafter the ‘‘Company’’) under this Arrangement must charge rates established by FEMA; and Whereas, FEMA has promulgated regulations and guidance implementing the Act and the Write Your Own (WYO) Program whereby participating private insurance companies act in a fiduciary capacity utilizing federal funds to sell and administer the Standard Flood Insurance Policies, and has extensively regulated the participating companies’ activities when selling or administering the Standard Flood Insurance Policies; and Whereas, any litigation resulting from, related to, or arising from the Company’s compliance with the written standards, procedures, and guidance issued by FEMA arises under the Act or regulations, and legal issues thereunder raise a federal question; and Whereas, through this Arrangement, the United States Treasury will back all flood policy claim payments by the Company; and Whereas, FEMA developed this Arrangement to enable any interested qualified insurer to write flood insurance under its own name; and Whereas, insured survivors recover faster and more fully than uninsured survivors, and FEMA is committed to developing a culture of preparedness and closing the insurance gap across the nation; and Whereas, one of the primary objectives of the Program is to provide coverage to the maximum number of buildings at risk and because the insurance industry has marketing access through its existing facilities not directly available to FEMA, FEMA concludes that coverage will be extended to those who would not otherwise be insured under the Program; and Whereas, flood insurance policies issued subject to this Arrangement must be only that insurance written by the Company in its own name under prescribed policy conditions and pursuant to this Arrangement, the Act, and any guidance issued by FEMA; and Whereas, over time, the Program is designed to increase industry participation and, accordingly, reduce or eliminate Government as the principal vehicle for delivering flood insurance to the public; and VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 Whereas, the sole parties under this Arrangement are the Company and FEMA. Now, therefore, the parties hereto mutually undertake the following: Article II. Undertakings of the Company A. Eligibility Requirements for Participation in the NFIP. 1. Policy Administration. All fund receipt, recording, control, timely deposit requirements, and disbursement in connection with all Policy Administration and any other related activities or correspondences, must meet all requirements of the Financial Control Plan and any guidance issued by FEMA. The Company shall be responsible for: a. Compliance with the Community Eligibility/Rating Criteria b. Making Policyholder Eligibility Determinations c. Policy Issuances d. Policy Endorsements e. Policy Cancellations f. Policy Correspondence g. Payment of Agents’ Commissions 2. Claims Processing. The Company must process all claims consistent with the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, Financial Control Plan, other guidance adopted by FEMA, and as much as possible, with the Company’s standard business practices for its non-NFIP policies. 3. Reports. The Company must submit monthly financial reports and statistical transaction reports in accordance with the requirements of the NFIP Transaction Record Reporting and Processing Plan or its successor for the Company and the Financial Control Plan for business written under the WYO Program, as well as with WYO Accounting Procedures. FEMA will validate, edit, and audit in detail these data and compare and balance the results against Company reports. 4. Operations Plan. Within ninety (90) days of the commencement of this Arrangement, the Company must submit an Operations Plan to FEMA describing its efforts to perform under this Arrangement. The plan must include the following: a. A marketing plan describing the Company’s forecasted growth, efforts to achieve that growth, and ability to comply with any marketing guidelines provided by FEMA. b. A description of the Company’s NFIP flood insurance distribution network, including anticipated numbers of agents, efforts to train those agents, and an average rate of commissions paid to producers by state. c. A catastrophic claims handling plan describing how the Company will PO 00000 Frm 00071 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 respond and maintain service standards in catastrophic flood events. d. A business continuity plan identifying threats and risks facing the Company’s NFIP-related operations and how the Company will maintain operations in the event of a disaster affecting its operational capabilities. B. Time Standards. Time will be measured from the date of receipt through the date mailed out. All dates referenced are working days, not calendar days. In addition to the standards set forth below, all functions performed by the Company must be in accordance with the highest reasonably attainable quality standards generally utilized in the insurance and data processing field. Continual failure to meet these requirements may result in limitations on the company’s authority to write new business or the removal of the Company from the WYO Program. Applicable time standards are: 1. Application Processing—15 days (note: if the policy cannot be mailed due to insufficient or erroneous information or insufficient funds, the Company must mail a request for correction or added moneys within 10 days) 2. Renewal processing—7 days 3. Endorsement processing—15 days 4. Cancellation processing—15 days 5. Claims Draft Processing—7 days from completion of file examination 6. Claims Adjustment—45 days average from the receipt of Notice of Loss (or equivalent) through completion of examination C. Policy Issuance. 1. The flood insurance subject to this Arrangement must be only that insurance written by the Company in its own name pursuant to the Act. 2. The Company must issue policies under the regulations prescribed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in accordance with the Act, on a form approved by FEMA. 3. All policies must be issued in consideration of such premiums and upon such terms and conditions and in such states or areas or subdivisions thereof as may be designated by FEMA and only where the Company is licensed by State law to engage in the property insurance business. D. FEMA may require the Company to discontinue issuing policies subject to this Arrangement immediately in the event Congressional authorization or appropriation for the NFIP is withdrawn. E. The Company must separate federal flood insurance funds from all other Company accounts, at a bank or banks of its choosing for the collection, E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices retention and disbursement of federal funds relating to its obligation under this Arrangement, less the Company’s expenses as set forth in Article III, and the operation of the Letter of Credit established pursuant to Article IV. The Company must remit all funds not required to meet current expenditures to the United States Treasury, in accordance with the provisions of the WYO Accounting Procedures Manual. F. The Company must investigate, adjust, settle, and defend all claims or losses arising from policies issued under this Arrangement. Payment of flood insurance claims by the Company bind FEMA, subject to appeal. G. Compliance with Agency Standards and Guidelines. 1. The Company must comply with the Act, regulations, written standards, procedures, and guidance issued by FEMA relating to the NFIP and applicable to the Company, including, but not limited to: a. Financial Control Plan b. Transaction Record Reporting and Processing (TRRP) Plan, or its successor. c. Flood Insurance Manual d. Adjuster Claims Manual e. WYO Bulletins 2. The Company must market flood insurance policies in a manner consistent with marketing guidelines established by FEMA. 3. FEMA may require the Company to collect customer service information to monitor and improve their program delivery. 4. The Company must notify its agents of the requirement to comply with State regulations regarding flood insurance agent education, notify agents of flood insurance training opportunities, and assist FEMA in periodic assessment of agent training needs. H. Compliance with Appeals Process. 1. FEMA will notify the Company when a policyholder files an appeal. After notification, the Company must provide FEMA the following information: a. All records created or maintained pursuant to this Arrangement requested by FEMA; and b. A comprehensive claim file synopsis that includes a summary of the appeal issues, the Company’s position on each issue, and any additional relevant information. If, in the process of writing the synopsis, the Company determines that it can address the issue raised by the policyholder on appeal without further direction, it must notify FEMA. The Company will then work directly with the policyholder to achieve resolution and update FEMA VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 upon completion. The Company may have a claims examiner review the file who is independent from the original decision and who possesses the authority to overturn the original decision if the facts support it. 2. The Company must cooperate with FEMA throughout the appeal process until final resolution. This includes adhering to any written appeals guidance issued by FEMA. 3. Resolution of Appeals. FEMA will close an appeal when: a. FEMA upholds the denial by the Company; b. FEMA overturns the denial by the Company and all necessary actions that follow are completed; c. The Company independently resolves the issue raised by the policyholder without further direction; d. The policyholder voluntarily withdraws the appeal; or e. The policyholder files litigation. 4. Processing of Additional Payments from Appeal. The Company must follow supplemental claim procedures for appeals that result in additional payment to a policyholder. 5. Time Standards. a. Provide FEMA with requested files pursuant to Article II.H.1.a—10 business days after request. b. Provide FEMA with comprehensive claim file synopsis pursuant to Article II.H.1.b—10 business days after request. c. Responding to inquiries from FEMA regarding an appeal—10 business days after inquiry. I. Other Flood Insurance. If the Company also offers flood insurance outside of the NFIP in any geographic area in which Program authorizes the purchase of flood insurance, the Company must: 1. Ensure that all public communications (whether written, recorded, electronic, or other) regarding non-NFIP flood insurance lines would not lead a reasonable person to believe that the NFIP, FEMA, or the Federal Government in any way endorses, sponsors, oversees, regulates, or otherwise has any connection with the non-NFIP flood insurance line. The Company may assure compliance with this requirement by prominently including in such communications the following statement: ‘‘This insurance product is not affiliated with the National Flood Insurance Program.’’ 2. Ensure that data related to this Arrangement are not used to further or support the Company’s non-NFIP flood insurance lines. PO 00000 Frm 00072 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18065 Article III. Loss Costs, Expenses, Expense Reimbursement, and Premium Refunds A. The Company is liable for operating, administrative, and production expenses, including any State premium taxes, dividends, agents’ commissions or any other expense of whatever nature incurred by the Company in the performance of its obligations under this Arrangement but excluding other taxes or fees, such as municipal or county premium taxes, surcharges on flood insurance premium, and guaranty fund assessments. B. Payment for Selling and Servicing Policies. 1. Operating and Administrative Expenses. The Company may withhold, as operating and administrative expenses, other than agents’ or brokers’ commissions, an amount from the Company’s written premium on the policies covered by this Arrangement in reimbursement of all of the Company’s marketing, operating, and administrative expenses, except for allocated and unallocated loss adjustment expenses described in Article III.C. This amount will equal the sum of the average industry expenses ratios for ‘‘Other Acq.’’, ‘‘Gen. Exp.’’ and ‘‘Taxes’’ calculated by aggregating premiums and expense amounts for each of five property coverages using direct premium and expense information to derive weighted average expense ratios. For this purpose, FEMA will use data for the property/casualty industry published, as of March 15 of the prior Arrangement year, in Part III of the Insurance Expense Exhibit in A.M. Best Company’s Aggregates and Averages for the following five property coverages: Fire, Allied Lines, Farmowners Multiple Peril, Homeowners Multiple Peril, and Commercial Multiple Peril (non-liability portion). 2. Agent Compensation. The Company may retain fifteen (15) percent of the Company’s written premium on the policies covered by this Arrangement as the commission allowance to meet the commissions or salaries of insurance agents, brokers, or other entities producing qualified flood insurance applications and other related expenses. 3. Growth Bonus. FEMA may increase the amount of expense allowance retained by the Company depending on the extent to which the Company meets the marketing goals for the Arrangement year contained in marketing guidelines established pursuant to Article II.G. The total growth bonuses paid to companies pursuant to this Arrangement may not E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 18066 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices exceed two (2) percent of the aggregate net written premium collected by all WYO companies. FEMA will pay the Company the amount of any increase after the end of the Arrangement year. 4. Reimbursement for Services of a National Rating Organization. The Company, with the consent of FEMA as to terms and costs, may use the services of a national rating organization, licensed under state law, to help us undertake and carry out such studies and investigations on a community or individual risk basis, and to determine equitable and accurate estimates of flood insurance risk premium rates as authorized under the Act, as amended. FEMA will reimburse the Company for the charges or fees for such services under the provisions of the WYO Accounting Procedures Manual. C. FEMA will reimburse Loss Adjustment Expenses as follows: 1. FEMA will reimburse unallocated loss adjustment expenses to the Company pursuant to a ‘‘ULAE Schedule’’ coordinated with the Company and provided by FEMA. 2. FEMA will reimburse allocated loss adjustment expenses to the Company pursuant to a ‘‘Fee Schedule’’ coordinated with the Company and provided by FEMA. To ensure the availability of qualified insurance adjusters during catastrophic flood events, FEMA may, in its sole discretion, temporarily authorize the use of an alternative Fee Schedule with increased amounts during the term of this Arrangement for losses incurred during a time frame and geographic area established by FEMA. 3. FEMA will reimburse special allocated loss expenses to the Company in accordance with guidelines issued by FEMA. D. Loss Payments. 1. The Company must make loss payments for flood insurance policies from federal funds retained in the bank account(s) established under Article II.E and, if such funds are depleted, from federal funds derived by drawing against the Letter of Credit established pursuant to Article IV. 2. Loss payments include payments because of litigation that arises under the scope of this Arrangement, and the Authorities set forth herein. All such loss payments and related expenses must meet the documentation requirements of the Financial Control Plan and of this Arrangement, and the Company must comply with the litigation documentation and notification requirements established by FEMA. Failure to meet these requirements may result in FEMA’s decision not to provide reimbursement. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 3. Limitation on Litigation Costs. a. Following receipt of notice of such litigation, the FEMA Office of Chief Counsel (‘‘OCC’’) will review the information submitted. If OCC finds that the litigation is grounded in actions by the Company that are significantly outside the scope of this Arrangement, and/or involves issues of agent negligence, then OCC may make a recommendation regarding whether all or part of the litigation is significantly outside the scope of the Arrangement. b. In the event FEMA determines that the litigation is grounded in actions by the Company that are significantly outside the scope of this Arrangement, and/or involves issues of agent negligence, then FEMA will notify the Company in writing within thirty (30) days that any award or judgment for damages and any costs to defend such litigation will not be recognized under Article III as a reimbursable loss cost, expense, or expense reimbursement. c. In the event a question arises whether only part of the costs of a litigation is reimbursable, OCC may make a recommendation about the appropriate division of responsibility, if possible. d. In the event that the Company wishes to petition for reconsideration of the determination that it will not be reimbursed for any part of the award or judgment or any part of the costs expended to defend such litigation made under Article III.D.3.a–c, it may do so by mailing, within thirty (30) days of the notice that reimbursement will not be made, a written petition to FEMA, who may request advice on other than legal matters of the WYO Standards Committee established under the WYO Financial Control Plan. The WYO Standards Committee will consider the request at its next regularly scheduled meeting or at a special meeting called for that purpose by the Chairman and issue a written recommendation to the Administrator. FEMA’s final determination will be made in writing within a reasonable time to the Company. E. The Company must make premium refunds required by FEMA to applicants and policyholders from federal flood insurance funds referred to in Article II.E, and, if such funds are depleted, from funds derived by drawing against the Letter of Credit established pursuant to Article IV. The Company may not refund any premium to applicants or policyholders in any manner other than as specified by FEMA since flood insurance premiums are funds of the Federal Government. PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Article IV. Undertakings of the Government A. FEMA must establish Letter(s) of Credit against which the Company may withdraw funds daily, if needed, pursuant to prescribed procedures implemented by FEMA. The amounts of the authorizations will be increased as necessary to meet the obligations of the Company under Article III.C–E. The Company may only request funds when net premium income has been depleted. The timing and amount of cash advances must be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements by the recipient organization for allowable Letter of Credit expenses. Request for payment on Letters of Credit may not ordinarily be drawn more frequently than daily. This Letter of Credit may be drawn by the Company for any of the following reasons: 1. Payment of claims, as described in Article III.D; 2. Refunds to applicants and policyholders for insurance premium overpayment, or if the application for insurance is rejected or when cancellation or endorsement of a policy results in a premium refund, as described in Article III.E; and 3. Allocated and unallocated loss adjustment expenses, as described in Article III.C. B. FEMA must provide technical assistance to the Company as follows: 1. FEMA’s policy, history concerning underwriting, and claims handling. 2. A mechanism to assist in clarification of coverage and claims questions. 3. Other assistance as needed. C. FEMA must provide the Company with a copy of all formal written appeal decisions conducted in accordance with Section 205 of the Bunning-BereuterBlumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, Public Law 108–264 and 44 CFR 62.20. D. Prior to the end of the Arrangement period, FEMA may provide the Company a statistical summary of their performance during the signed Arrangement period. This summary will detail the Company’s performance individually, as well as compare the Company’s performance to the aggregate performance of all WYO companies and the NFIP Direct Servicing Agent. Article V. Commencement and Termination A. The effective period of this Arrangement begins on October 1, 2019 and terminates no earlier than September 30, 2020, subject to extension pursuant to Article V.C. E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices FEMA may provide financial assistance only for policy applications and endorsements accepted by the Company during this period pursuant to the Program’s effective date, underwriting, and eligibility rules. B. Pursuant to 44 CFR 62.23(a), FEMA will publish the Arrangement and the terms for subscription or re-subscription for Fiscal Year 2021 in the Federal Register no later than April 1, 2020. Upon such publication, the Company must notify FEMA of its intent to resubscribe or not re-subscribe to the WYO Program for the following term within ninety (90) calendar days. C. In addition to the requirements of Article V.B, in order to assure uninterrupted service to policyholders, the Company must promptly notify FEMA in the event the Company elects not to re-subscribe to the WYO Program during the term of this Arrangement. If so notified, or if FEMA chooses not to renew the Company’s participation, FEMA, at its option, may require the continued performance of all or selected elements of this Arrangement for the period required for orderly transfer or cessation of business and settlement of accounts, not to exceed eighteen (18) months after the end of this Arrangement (September 30, 2020), and may either require transfer of activities to FEMA under Article V.C.1 or allow transfer of activities to another WYO company under Article V.C.2: 1. FEMA may require the Company to transfer all activities under this Arrangement to FEMA. Within 30 calendar days of FEMA’s election of this option, the Company must deliver to FEMA the following: a. A plan for the orderly transfer to FEMA of any continuing responsibilities in administering the policies issued by the Company under the Program including provisions for coordination assistance. b. All data received, produced, and maintained through the life of the Company’s participation in the Program, including certain data, as determined by FEMA, in a standard format and medium. c. All claims and policy files, including those pertaining to receipts and disbursements that have occurred during the life of each policy. In the event of a transfer of the services provided, the Company must provide FEMA with a report showing, on a policy basis, any amounts due from or payable to insureds, agents, brokers, and others as of the transition date. d. All funds in its possession with respect to any policies transferred to FEMA for administration and the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 unearned expenses retained by the Company. e. A point of contact within the Company responsible for addressing issues that may arise from the Company’s previous participation under the WYO Program. 2. FEMA may allow the Company to transfer all activities under this Arrangement to one or more other WYO companies. Prior to commencing such transfer, the Company must submit and FEMA must approve a formal request. Such request must include the following: a. An assurance of uninterrupted service to policyholders. b. A detailed transfer plan providing for either: (1) the renewal of the Company’s NFIP policies by one or more other WYO companies or (2) the transfer of the Company’s NFIP policies to one or more other WYO companies. c. A description of who the responsible party will be for liabilities relating to losses incurred by the Company in this or preceding Arrangement years. d. A point of contact within the Company responsible for addressing issues that may arise from the Company’s previous participation under the WYO Program. D. Cancellation by FEMA. 1. FEMA may cancel financial assistance under this Arrangement in its entirety upon thirty (30) days written notice to the Company by certified mail stating one or more of the following reasons for such cancellation: a. Fraud or misrepresentation by the Company subsequent to the inception of the Arrangement; or b. Nonpayment to FEMA of any amount due; or c. Material failure to comply with the requirements of this Arrangement or with the written standards, procedures, or guidance issued by FEMA relating to the NFIP and applicable to the Company. 2. If FEMA cancels this Arrangement pursuant to Article V.D.1, FEMA may require the transfer of administrative responsibilities and the transfer of data and records as provided in Article V.C.1.a–d. If transfer is required, the Company must remit to FEMA the unearned expenses retained by the Company. In such event, FEMA will assume all obligations and liabilities owed to policyholders under such policies, arising before and after the date of transfer. 3. As an alternative to the transfer of the policies to FEMA pursuant to Article V.D.2, FEMA will consider a proposal, if it is made by the Company, for the assumption of responsibilities by PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18067 another WYO company as provided in Article V.C.2. E. In the event that the Company is unable or otherwise fails to carry out its obligations under this Arrangement by reason of any order or directive duly issued by the Department of Insurance of any jurisdiction to which the Company is subject, the Company agrees to transfer, and FEMA will accept, any and all WYO policies issued by the Company and in force as of the date of such inability or failure to perform. In such event FEMA will assume all obligations and liabilities within the scope of the Arrangement owed to policyholders arising before and after the date of transfer, and the Company will immediately transfer to FEMA all needed records and data and all funds in its possession with respect to all such policies transferred and the unearned expenses retained by the Company. As an alternative to the transfer of the policies to FEMA, FEMA will consider a proposal, if it is made by the Company, for the assumption of responsibilities by another WYO company as provided by Article V.C.2. F. In the event the Act is amended, repealed, expires, or if FEMA is otherwise without authority to continue the Program, FEMA may cancel financial assistance under this Arrangement for any new or renewal business, but the Arrangement will continue for policies in force that shall be allowed to run their term under the Arrangement. Article VI. Information and Annual Statements A. The Company must furnish to FEMA such summaries and analysis of information including claim file information and property address, location, and/or site information in its records as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of the Act, in such form as FEMA, in cooperation with the Company, will prescribe. B. Upon FEMA’s request, the Company must provide FEMA with a true and correct copy of the Company’s Fire and Casualty Annual Statement, and Insurance Expense Exhibit or amendments thereof as filed with the State Insurance Authority of the Company’s domiciliary State. Article VII. Cash Management and Accounting A. FEMA must make available to the Company during the entire term of this Arrangement, and any continuation period required by FEMA pursuant to Article V.C, the Letter of Credit provided for in Article IV drawn on a repository bank within the Federal E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 18068 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES Reserve System. This Letter of Credit may be drawn by the Company for reimbursement of its expenses as set forth in Article IV that exceed net written premiums collected by the Company from the effective date of this Arrangement or continuation period to the date of the draw. In the event that adequate Letter of Credit funding is not available to meet current Company obligations for flood policy claim payments issued, FEMA must direct the Company to immediately suspend the issuance of loss payments until such time as adequate funds are available. The Company is not required to pay claims from their own funds in the event of such suspension. B. The Company must remit all funds, including interest, not required to meet current expenditures to the United States Treasury, in accordance with the provisions of the WYO Accounting Procedures Manual or procedures approved in writing by FEMA. C. In the event the Company elects not to participate in the Program in this or any subsequent fiscal year, or is otherwise unable or not permitted to participate, the Company and FEMA must make a provisional settlement of all amounts due or owing within three (3) months of the expiration or termination of this Arrangement. This settlement must include net premiums collected, funds drawn on the Letter of Credit, and reserves for outstanding claims. The Company and FEMA agree to make a final settlement, subject to audit, of accounts for all obligations arising from this Arrangement within eighteen (18) months of its expiration or termination, except for contingent liabilities that must be listed by the Company. At the time of final settlement, the balance, if any, due FEMA or the Company must be remitted by the other immediately and the operating year under this Arrangement must be closed. Article VIII. Arbitration If any misunderstanding or dispute arises between the Company and FEMA with reference to any factual issue under any provisions of this Arrangement or with respect to FEMA’s nonrenewal of the Company’s participation, other than as to legal liability under or interpretation of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, such misunderstanding or dispute may be submitted to arbitration for a determination that will be binding upon approval by FEMA. The Company and FEMA may agree on and appoint an arbitrator who will investigate the subject of the misunderstanding or dispute and make a determination. If the VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 Company and FEMA cannot agree on the appointment of an arbitrator, then two arbitrators will be appointed, one to be chosen by the Company and one by FEMA. The two arbitrators so chosen, if they are unable to reach an agreement, must select a third arbitrator who must act as umpire, and such umpire’s determination will become final only upon approval by FEMA. The Company and FEMA shall bear in equal shares all expenses of the arbitration. Findings, proposed awards, and determinations resulting from arbitration proceedings carried out under this section, upon objection by FEMA or the Company, shall be inadmissible as evidence in any subsequent proceedings in any court of competent jurisdiction. This Article shall indefinitely succeed the term of this Arrangement. Article IX. Errors and Omissions In the event of negligence by the Company that has not resulted in litigation but has resulted in a claim against the Company, FEMA will not consider reimbursement of the Company for costs incurred due to that negligence unless the Company takes all reasonable actions to rectify the negligence and to mitigate any such costs as soon as possible after discovery of the negligence. The Company may choose not to seek reimbursement from FEMA. Further, if the claim against the Company is grounded in actions significantly outside the scope of this Arrangement or if there is negligence by the agent, FEMA will not reimburse any costs incurred due to that negligence. The Company will be notified in writing within thirty (30) days of a decision not to reimburse. In the event the Company wishes to petition for reconsideration of the decision not to reimburse, the procedure in Article III.D.3.d applies. However, in the event that the Company has made a claim payment to an insured without including a mortgagee (or trustee) of which the Company had actual notice prior to making payment, and subsequently determines that the mortgagee (or trustee) is also entitled to any part of said claim payment, any additional payment may not be paid by the Company from any portion of the premium and any funds derived from any federal letter of credit deposited in the bank account described in Article II.E. In addition, the Company agrees to hold the Federal Government harmless against any claim asserted against the Federal Government by any such mortgagee (or trustee), as described in the preceding sentence, by reason of any PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 claim payment made to any insured under the circumstances described above. Article X. Officials Not To Benefit No Member or Delegate to Congress, or Resident Commissioner, may be admitted to any share or part of this Arrangement, or to any benefit that may arise therefrom; but this provision may not be construed to extend to this Arrangement if made with a corporation for its general benefit. Article XI. Offset At the settlement of accounts, the Company and FEMA has, and may exercise, the right to offset any balance or balances, whether on account of premiums, commissions, losses, loss adjustment expenses, salvage, or otherwise due one party to the other, its successors or assigns, hereunder or under any other Arrangements heretofore or hereafter entered into between the Company and FEMA. This right of offset shall not be affected or diminished because of insolvency of the Company. All debts or credits of the same class, whether liquidated or unliquidated, in favor of or against either party to this Arrangement on the date of entry, or any order of conservation, receivership, or liquidation, shall be deemed to be mutual debts and credits and shall be offset with the balance only to be allowed or paid. No offset shall be allowed where a conservator, receiver, or liquidator has been appointed and where an obligation was purchased by or transferred to a party hereunder to be used as an offset. Although a claim on the part of either party against the other may be unliquidated or undetermined in amount on the date of the entry of the order, such claim will be regarded as being in existence as of the date of such order and any credits or claims of the same class then in existence and held by the other party may be offset against it. Article XII. Equal Opportunity The Company shall not discriminate against any applicant for insurance because of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, marital status, or national origin. Article XIII. [Reserved] [Reserved] Article XIV. Access to Books and Records FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Comptroller General of the United States, or their duly authorized representatives, for the E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 82 / Monday, April 29, 2019 / Notices purpose of investigation, audit, and examination shall have access to any books, documents, papers and records of the Company that are pertinent to this Arrangement. The Company shall keep records that fully disclose all matters pertinent to this Arrangement, including premiums and claims paid or payable under policies issued pursuant to this Arrangement. Records of accounts and records relating to financial assistance shall be retained and available for three (3) years after final settlement of accounts, and to financial assistance, three (3) years after final adjustment of such claims. FEMA shall have access to policyholder and claim records at all times for purposes of the review, defense, examination, adjustment, or investigation of any claim under a flood insurance policy subject to this Arrangement. Article XV. Compliance With Act and Regulations This Arrangement and all policies of insurance issued pursuant thereto are subject to federal law and regulations. Article XVI. Relationship Between the Parties and the Insured Inasmuch as the Federal Government is a guarantor hereunder, the primary relationship between the Company and the Federal Government is one of a fiduciary nature, that is, to assure that any taxpayer funds are accounted for and appropriately expended. The Company is a fiscal agent of the Federal Government, but is not a general agent of the Federal Government. The Company is solely responsible for its obligations to its insured under any policy issued pursuant hereto, such that the Federal Government is not a proper party to any lawsuit arising out of such policies. Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4071, 4081; 44 CFR 62.23. David I. Maurstad, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Federal Emergency Management Agency. [FR Doc. 2019–08605 Filed 4–26–19; 8:45 am] khammond on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES BILLING CODE 9111–52–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:56 Apr 26, 2019 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Docket ID: FEMA–2019–0006; OMB No. 1660–0040] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: The Federal Emergency Management Agency, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on a reinstatement, without change, of a previously approved information collection for which approval has expired. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice seeks comments concerning this form which is used by regulated lending institutions, federal agency lenders, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and the Government National Mortgage Association. Federally regulated lending institutions complete this form when making, increasing, extending, renewing or purchasing each loan for the purpose of determining whether flood insurance is required and available. FEMA is responsible for maintaining the form and making it available. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before June 28, 2019. ADDRESSES: To avoid duplicate submissions to the docket, please use only one of the following means to submit comments: (1) Online. Submit comments at www.regulations.gov under Docket ID FEMA–2019–0006. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. (2) Mail. Submit written comments to Docket Manager, Office of Chief Counsel, DHS/FEMA, 500 C Street SW, 8NE, Washington, DC 20472–3100. All submissions received must include the agency name and Docket ID. Regardless of the method used for submitting comments or material, all submissions will be posted, without change, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https://www.regulations.gov, and will include any personal information you provide. Therefore, submitting this information makes it public. You may wish to read the Privacy Act notice that is available via SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00076 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 18069 the link in the footer of www.regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Susan Bernstein, Insurance Specialist, FIMA, Marketing and Outreach Branch, 303–701–3595. You may contact the Information Management Division for copies of the proposed collection of information at email address: FEMAInformation-Collections-Management@ fema.dhs.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 1365 of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA) (42 U.S.C. 4104b), as added by Section 528 of the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (Pub. L. 103–325, title V), requires that FEMA develop a standard hazard determination form for recording the determination of whether a structure is located within an identified Special Flood Hazard Area and whether flood insurance is available. Regulated lending institutions, federal agency lenders, the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, and the Government National Mortgage Association must complete this form for any loan made, increased, extended, renewed or purchased by these entities. The requirement for federally regulated lending institutions to determine whether a building or mobile home securing a loan is located in an area having special flood hazards and whether flood insurance is available has been in effect since the enactment of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, although the use of a standard form was not required until the enactment of the Section 1365 of the NFIA. The establishment of the Standard Flood Hazard Determination form has enabled lenders to provide consistent information. This information collection expired on 30 November 2018. FEMA is requesting a reinstatement, without change, of a previously approved information collection for which approval has expired. Collection of Information Title: Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form. Type of Information Collection: Reinstatement, without change, of a previously approved information collection for which approval has expired. OMB Number: 1660–0040. Form Titles and Numbers: FEMA Form 086–0–32, Standard Flood Hazard Determination Form. Abstract: This form is used by regulated lending institutions, federal agency lenders, the Federal National E:\FR\FM\29APN1.SGM 29APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 82 (Monday, April 29, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18063-18069]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-08605]



[[Page 18063]]

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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

Federal Emergency Management Agency

[Docket ID FEMA-2019-0009]


National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP); Assistance to Private 
Sector Property Insurers, Notice of FY 2020 Arrangement

AGENCY: Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Emergency Management Agency announces the Fiscal 
Year 2020 Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement for private property 
insurers interested in participating in the National Flood Insurance 
Program's Write Your Own Program.

DATES: Interested insurers must submit intent to subscribe or re-
subscribe to the Arrangement by July 29, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Andrew Read, Federal Insurance and 
Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 C St. SW, Washington, DC 20472 
(mail); (202) 315-8423 (phone); or [email protected] (email).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (NFIA), as amended (42 
U.S.C. 4001 et seq.), authorizes the Administrator of the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish and carry out a 
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to enable interested persons to 
purchase insurance against loss resulting from physical damage to or 
loss of real or personal property arising from flood in the United 
States. See 42 U.S.C. 4011(a). Under the NFIA, FEMA has the authority 
to undertake arrangements to carry out the NFIP through the facilities 
of the Federal Government, utilizing, for the purposes of providing 
flood insurance coverage, insurance companies and other insurers, 
insurance agents and brokers, and insurance adjustment organizations as 
fiscal agents of the United States. See 42 U.S.C. 4071. To this end, 
FEMA may ``enter into any contracts, agreements, or other appropriate 
arrangements'' with private insurance companies to utilize their 
facilities and services in administering the NFIP on such terms and 
conditions as may be agreed upon. See 42 U.S.C. 4081(a).
    Pursuant to this authority, FEMA enters into a standard Financial 
Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement (Arrangement) with private sector 
property insurers, also known as Write Your Own (WYO) companies, to 
sell NFIP flood insurance policies under their own names and adjust and 
pay claims arising under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). 
Each Arrangement entered into by a WYO company must be in the form and 
substance of the standard Arrangement, a copy of which is published in 
the Federal Register annually, at least 6 months prior to becoming 
effective. See 44 CFR 62.23(a).

II. Notice of Availability

    Insurers interested in participating in the WYO Program for Fiscal 
Year 2020 must contact Andrew Read at [email protected] by July 
29, 2019.
    Prior participation in the WYO Program does not guarantee that FEMA 
will approve continued participation. FEMA will evaluate requests to 
participate in light of publicly available information, industry 
performance data, and other criteria listed in 44 CFR 62.24 and the FY 
2020 Arrangement, copied below. Private insurance companies are 
encouraged to supplement this information with customer satisfaction 
surveys, industry awards or recognition, or other objective performance 
data. In addition, private insurance companies should work with their 
vendors and subcontractors involved in servicing and delivering their 
insurance lines to ensure FEMA receives the information necessary to 
effectively evaluate the criteria set forth in its regulations.
    FEMA will send a copy of the offer for the FY 2020 Arrangement, 
together with related materials and submission instructions, to all 
private insurance companies successfully evaluated by the NFIP. If 
FEMA, after conducting its evaluation, chooses not to renew a Company's 
participation, FEMA, at its option, may require the continued 
performance of all or selected elements of the FY 2019 Arrangement for 
a period required for orderly transfer or cessation of the business and 
settlement of accounts, not to exceed 18 months. See FY 2019 
Arrangement, Article V.C. All evaluations, whether successful or 
unsuccessful, will inform both an overall assessment of the WYO Program 
and any potential changes FEMA may consider regarding the Arrangement 
in future fiscal years.
    Any private insurance company with questions may contact FEMA at: 
Andrew Read, Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration, FEMA, 400 
C St. SW, Washington, DC 20472 (mail); (202) 315-8423 (phone); or 
[email protected] (email).

III. Fiscal Year 2020 Arrangement

    Pursuant to 44 CFR 62.23(a), FEMA must publish the Arrangement at 
least six months prior to the Arrangement becoming effective. The FY 
2020 Arrangement provided below is substantially similar to the 
previous year's Arrangement. The one substantive change is that WYO 
companies will be required to comply with any successors to the 
existing Transaction Record Reporting and Processing (TRRP) Plan. This 
change is necessary because FEMA is in the process of modernizing key 
systems of records and reporting processes, including a shift from 
legacy database systems to the modern PIVOT system of record. The FY 
2020 Arrangement also includes several non-substantive edits intended 
to correct typographical errors and improve the clarity of the writing.
    The Fiscal Year 2020 Arrangement reads as follows:

Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement

Article I. Findings, Purposes, and Authority
    Whereas, the Congress in its ``Finding and Declaration of Purpose'' 
in the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, Public Law 90-448, Title 
XIII, as amended, (``the Act'' or ``Act'') recognized the benefit of 
having the National Flood Insurance Program (the ``Program'' or 
``NFIP'') ``carried out to the maximum extent practicable by the 
private insurance industry'' (Section 1302 of the Act [42 U.S.C. 
4001]); and
    Whereas, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (``FEMA''), which 
operates the Program through its Federal Insurance and Mitigation 
Administration (``FIMA''), recognizes this Arrangement as coming under 
the provisions of Sections 1340 and 1345 of the Act (42 U.S.C. 4071 and 
4081, respectively); and
    Whereas, the goal of FEMA is to develop a program with the 
insurance industry where the risk-bearing role for the industry will 
evolve as intended by the Congress (Section 1304 of the Act [42 U.S.C. 
4011]); and
    Whereas, Section 205 of the Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood 
Insurance Reform Act of 2004, Public Law 108-264, as implemented by 44 
CFR 62.20, permits Program policyholders to appeal the denial of a 
claim, completely or in part, to FEMA; and
    Whereas, the NFIP is a program administered by FEMA, all 
participants of this Arrangement, and other entities

[[Page 18064]]

operating on their behalf, shall align themselves toward the common 
purpose of helping survivors and their communities recover from floods 
by effectively delivering customer-focused flood insurance products and 
information; and
    Whereas, the insurer (hereinafter the ``Company'') under this 
Arrangement must charge rates established by FEMA; and
    Whereas, FEMA has promulgated regulations and guidance implementing 
the Act and the Write Your Own (WYO) Program whereby participating 
private insurance companies act in a fiduciary capacity utilizing 
federal funds to sell and administer the Standard Flood Insurance 
Policies, and has extensively regulated the participating companies' 
activities when selling or administering the Standard Flood Insurance 
Policies; and
    Whereas, any litigation resulting from, related to, or arising from 
the Company's compliance with the written standards, procedures, and 
guidance issued by FEMA arises under the Act or regulations, and legal 
issues thereunder raise a federal question; and
    Whereas, through this Arrangement, the United States Treasury will 
back all flood policy claim payments by the Company; and
    Whereas, FEMA developed this Arrangement to enable any interested 
qualified insurer to write flood insurance under its own name; and
    Whereas, insured survivors recover faster and more fully than 
uninsured survivors, and FEMA is committed to developing a culture of 
preparedness and closing the insurance gap across the nation; and
    Whereas, one of the primary objectives of the Program is to provide 
coverage to the maximum number of buildings at risk and because the 
insurance industry has marketing access through its existing facilities 
not directly available to FEMA, FEMA concludes that coverage will be 
extended to those who would not otherwise be insured under the Program; 
and
    Whereas, flood insurance policies issued subject to this 
Arrangement must be only that insurance written by the Company in its 
own name under prescribed policy conditions and pursuant to this 
Arrangement, the Act, and any guidance issued by FEMA; and
    Whereas, over time, the Program is designed to increase industry 
participation and, accordingly, reduce or eliminate Government as the 
principal vehicle for delivering flood insurance to the public; and
    Whereas, the sole parties under this Arrangement are the Company 
and FEMA.
    Now, therefore, the parties hereto mutually undertake the 
following:
Article II. Undertakings of the Company
    A. Eligibility Requirements for Participation in the NFIP.
    1. Policy Administration. All fund receipt, recording, control, 
timely deposit requirements, and disbursement in connection with all 
Policy Administration and any other related activities or 
correspondences, must meet all requirements of the Financial Control 
Plan and any guidance issued by FEMA. The Company shall be responsible 
for:

a. Compliance with the Community Eligibility/Rating Criteria
b. Making Policyholder Eligibility Determinations
c. Policy Issuances
d. Policy Endorsements
e. Policy Cancellations
f. Policy Correspondence
g. Payment of Agents' Commissions

    2. Claims Processing. The Company must process all claims 
consistent with the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, Financial Control 
Plan, other guidance adopted by FEMA, and as much as possible, with the 
Company's standard business practices for its non-NFIP policies.
    3. Reports. The Company must submit monthly financial reports and 
statistical transaction reports in accordance with the requirements of 
the NFIP Transaction Record Reporting and Processing Plan or its 
successor for the Company and the Financial Control Plan for business 
written under the WYO Program, as well as with WYO Accounting 
Procedures. FEMA will validate, edit, and audit in detail these data 
and compare and balance the results against Company reports.
    4. Operations Plan. Within ninety (90) days of the commencement of 
this Arrangement, the Company must submit an Operations Plan to FEMA 
describing its efforts to perform under this Arrangement. The plan must 
include the following:
    a. A marketing plan describing the Company's forecasted growth, 
efforts to achieve that growth, and ability to comply with any 
marketing guidelines provided by FEMA.
    b. A description of the Company's NFIP flood insurance distribution 
network, including anticipated numbers of agents, efforts to train 
those agents, and an average rate of commissions paid to producers by 
state.
    c. A catastrophic claims handling plan describing how the Company 
will respond and maintain service standards in catastrophic flood 
events.
    d. A business continuity plan identifying threats and risks facing 
the Company's NFIP-related operations and how the Company will maintain 
operations in the event of a disaster affecting its operational 
capabilities.
    B. Time Standards. Time will be measured from the date of receipt 
through the date mailed out. All dates referenced are working days, not 
calendar days. In addition to the standards set forth below, all 
functions performed by the Company must be in accordance with the 
highest reasonably attainable quality standards generally utilized in 
the insurance and data processing field. Continual failure to meet 
these requirements may result in limitations on the company's authority 
to write new business or the removal of the Company from the WYO 
Program. Applicable time standards are:

1. Application Processing--15 days (note: if the policy cannot be 
mailed due to insufficient or erroneous information or insufficient 
funds, the Company must mail a request for correction or added moneys 
within 10 days)
2. Renewal processing--7 days
3. Endorsement processing--15 days
4. Cancellation processing--15 days
5. Claims Draft Processing--7 days from completion of file examination
6. Claims Adjustment--45 days average from the receipt of Notice of 
Loss (or equivalent) through completion of examination

    C. Policy Issuance.
    1. The flood insurance subject to this Arrangement must be only 
that insurance written by the Company in its own name pursuant to the 
Act.
    2. The Company must issue policies under the regulations prescribed 
by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in accordance with the Act, 
on a form approved by FEMA.
    3. All policies must be issued in consideration of such premiums 
and upon such terms and conditions and in such states or areas or 
subdivisions thereof as may be designated by FEMA and only where the 
Company is licensed by State law to engage in the property insurance 
business.
    D. FEMA may require the Company to discontinue issuing policies 
subject to this Arrangement immediately in the event Congressional 
authorization or appropriation for the NFIP is withdrawn.
    E. The Company must separate federal flood insurance funds from all 
other Company accounts, at a bank or banks of its choosing for the 
collection,

[[Page 18065]]

retention and disbursement of federal funds relating to its obligation 
under this Arrangement, less the Company's expenses as set forth in 
Article III, and the operation of the Letter of Credit established 
pursuant to Article IV. The Company must remit all funds not required 
to meet current expenditures to the United States Treasury, in 
accordance with the provisions of the WYO Accounting Procedures Manual.
    F. The Company must investigate, adjust, settle, and defend all 
claims or losses arising from policies issued under this Arrangement. 
Payment of flood insurance claims by the Company bind FEMA, subject to 
appeal.
    G. Compliance with Agency Standards and Guidelines.
    1. The Company must comply with the Act, regulations, written 
standards, procedures, and guidance issued by FEMA relating to the NFIP 
and applicable to the Company, including, but not limited to:

a. Financial Control Plan
b. Transaction Record Reporting and Processing (TRRP) Plan, or its 
successor.
c. Flood Insurance Manual
d. Adjuster Claims Manual
e. WYO Bulletins

    2. The Company must market flood insurance policies in a manner 
consistent with marketing guidelines established by FEMA.
    3. FEMA may require the Company to collect customer service 
information to monitor and improve their program delivery.
    4. The Company must notify its agents of the requirement to comply 
with State regulations regarding flood insurance agent education, 
notify agents of flood insurance training opportunities, and assist 
FEMA in periodic assessment of agent training needs.
    H. Compliance with Appeals Process.
    1. FEMA will notify the Company when a policyholder files an 
appeal. After notification, the Company must provide FEMA the following 
information:
    a. All records created or maintained pursuant to this Arrangement 
requested by FEMA; and
    b. A comprehensive claim file synopsis that includes a summary of 
the appeal issues, the Company's position on each issue, and any 
additional relevant information. If, in the process of writing the 
synopsis, the Company determines that it can address the issue raised 
by the policyholder on appeal without further direction, it must notify 
FEMA. The Company will then work directly with the policyholder to 
achieve resolution and update FEMA upon completion. The Company may 
have a claims examiner review the file who is independent from the 
original decision and who possesses the authority to overturn the 
original decision if the facts support it.
    2. The Company must cooperate with FEMA throughout the appeal 
process until final resolution. This includes adhering to any written 
appeals guidance issued by FEMA.
    3. Resolution of Appeals. FEMA will close an appeal when:
    a. FEMA upholds the denial by the Company;
    b. FEMA overturns the denial by the Company and all necessary 
actions that follow are completed;
    c. The Company independently resolves the issue raised by the 
policyholder without further direction;
    d. The policyholder voluntarily withdraws the appeal; or
    e. The policyholder files litigation.
    4. Processing of Additional Payments from Appeal. The Company must 
follow supplemental claim procedures for appeals that result in 
additional payment to a policyholder.
    5. Time Standards.
    a. Provide FEMA with requested files pursuant to Article II.H.1.a--
10 business days after request.
    b. Provide FEMA with comprehensive claim file synopsis pursuant to 
Article II.H.1.b--10 business days after request.
    c. Responding to inquiries from FEMA regarding an appeal--10 
business days after inquiry.
    I. Other Flood Insurance. If the Company also offers flood 
insurance outside of the NFIP in any geographic area in which Program 
authorizes the purchase of flood insurance, the Company must:
    1. Ensure that all public communications (whether written, 
recorded, electronic, or other) regarding non-NFIP flood insurance 
lines would not lead a reasonable person to believe that the NFIP, 
FEMA, or the Federal Government in any way endorses, sponsors, 
oversees, regulates, or otherwise has any connection with the non-NFIP 
flood insurance line. The Company may assure compliance with this 
requirement by prominently including in such communications the 
following statement: ``This insurance product is not affiliated with 
the National Flood Insurance Program.''
    2. Ensure that data related to this Arrangement are not used to 
further or support the Company's non-NFIP flood insurance lines.
Article III. Loss Costs, Expenses, Expense Reimbursement, and Premium 
Refunds
    A. The Company is liable for operating, administrative, and 
production expenses, including any State premium taxes, dividends, 
agents' commissions or any other expense of whatever nature incurred by 
the Company in the performance of its obligations under this 
Arrangement but excluding other taxes or fees, such as municipal or 
county premium taxes, surcharges on flood insurance premium, and 
guaranty fund assessments.
    B. Payment for Selling and Servicing Policies.
    1. Operating and Administrative Expenses. The Company may withhold, 
as operating and administrative expenses, other than agents' or 
brokers' commissions, an amount from the Company's written premium on 
the policies covered by this Arrangement in reimbursement of all of the 
Company's marketing, operating, and administrative expenses, except for 
allocated and unallocated loss adjustment expenses described in Article 
III.C. This amount will equal the sum of the average industry expenses 
ratios for ``Other Acq.'', ``Gen. Exp.'' and ``Taxes'' calculated by 
aggregating premiums and expense amounts for each of five property 
coverages using direct premium and expense information to derive 
weighted average expense ratios. For this purpose, FEMA will use data 
for the property/casualty industry published, as of March 15 of the 
prior Arrangement year, in Part III of the Insurance Expense Exhibit in 
A.M. Best Company's Aggregates and Averages for the following five 
property coverages: Fire, Allied Lines, Farmowners Multiple Peril, 
Homeowners Multiple Peril, and Commercial Multiple Peril (non-liability 
portion).
    2. Agent Compensation. The Company may retain fifteen (15) percent 
of the Company's written premium on the policies covered by this 
Arrangement as the commission allowance to meet the commissions or 
salaries of insurance agents, brokers, or other entities producing 
qualified flood insurance applications and other related expenses.
    3. Growth Bonus. FEMA may increase the amount of expense allowance 
retained by the Company depending on the extent to which the Company 
meets the marketing goals for the Arrangement year contained in 
marketing guidelines established pursuant to Article II.G. The total 
growth bonuses paid to companies pursuant to this Arrangement may not

[[Page 18066]]

exceed two (2) percent of the aggregate net written premium collected 
by all WYO companies. FEMA will pay the Company the amount of any 
increase after the end of the Arrangement year.
    4. Reimbursement for Services of a National Rating Organization. 
The Company, with the consent of FEMA as to terms and costs, may use 
the services of a national rating organization, licensed under state 
law, to help us undertake and carry out such studies and investigations 
on a community or individual risk basis, and to determine equitable and 
accurate estimates of flood insurance risk premium rates as authorized 
under the Act, as amended. FEMA will reimburse the Company for the 
charges or fees for such services under the provisions of the WYO 
Accounting Procedures Manual.
    C. FEMA will reimburse Loss Adjustment Expenses as follows:
    1. FEMA will reimburse unallocated loss adjustment expenses to the 
Company pursuant to a ``ULAE Schedule'' coordinated with the Company 
and provided by FEMA.
    2. FEMA will reimburse allocated loss adjustment expenses to the 
Company pursuant to a ``Fee Schedule'' coordinated with the Company and 
provided by FEMA. To ensure the availability of qualified insurance 
adjusters during catastrophic flood events, FEMA may, in its sole 
discretion, temporarily authorize the use of an alternative Fee 
Schedule with increased amounts during the term of this Arrangement for 
losses incurred during a time frame and geographic area established by 
FEMA.
    3. FEMA will reimburse special allocated loss expenses to the 
Company in accordance with guidelines issued by FEMA.
    D. Loss Payments.
    1. The Company must make loss payments for flood insurance policies 
from federal funds retained in the bank account(s) established under 
Article II.E and, if such funds are depleted, from federal funds 
derived by drawing against the Letter of Credit established pursuant to 
Article IV.
    2. Loss payments include payments because of litigation that arises 
under the scope of this Arrangement, and the Authorities set forth 
herein. All such loss payments and related expenses must meet the 
documentation requirements of the Financial Control Plan and of this 
Arrangement, and the Company must comply with the litigation 
documentation and notification requirements established by FEMA. 
Failure to meet these requirements may result in FEMA's decision not to 
provide reimbursement.
    3. Limitation on Litigation Costs.
    a. Following receipt of notice of such litigation, the FEMA Office 
of Chief Counsel (``OCC'') will review the information submitted. If 
OCC finds that the litigation is grounded in actions by the Company 
that are significantly outside the scope of this Arrangement, and/or 
involves issues of agent negligence, then OCC may make a recommendation 
regarding whether all or part of the litigation is significantly 
outside the scope of the Arrangement.
    b. In the event FEMA determines that the litigation is grounded in 
actions by the Company that are significantly outside the scope of this 
Arrangement, and/or involves issues of agent negligence, then FEMA will 
notify the Company in writing within thirty (30) days that any award or 
judgment for damages and any costs to defend such litigation will not 
be recognized under Article III as a reimbursable loss cost, expense, 
or expense reimbursement.
    c. In the event a question arises whether only part of the costs of 
a litigation is reimbursable, OCC may make a recommendation about the 
appropriate division of responsibility, if possible.
    d. In the event that the Company wishes to petition for 
reconsideration of the determination that it will not be reimbursed for 
any part of the award or judgment or any part of the costs expended to 
defend such litigation made under Article III.D.3.a-c, it may do so by 
mailing, within thirty (30) days of the notice that reimbursement will 
not be made, a written petition to FEMA, who may request advice on 
other than legal matters of the WYO Standards Committee established 
under the WYO Financial Control Plan. The WYO Standards Committee will 
consider the request at its next regularly scheduled meeting or at a 
special meeting called for that purpose by the Chairman and issue a 
written recommendation to the Administrator. FEMA's final determination 
will be made in writing within a reasonable time to the Company.
    E. The Company must make premium refunds required by FEMA to 
applicants and policyholders from federal flood insurance funds 
referred to in Article II.E, and, if such funds are depleted, from 
funds derived by drawing against the Letter of Credit established 
pursuant to Article IV. The Company may not refund any premium to 
applicants or policyholders in any manner other than as specified by 
FEMA since flood insurance premiums are funds of the Federal 
Government.
Article IV. Undertakings of the Government
    A. FEMA must establish Letter(s) of Credit against which the 
Company may withdraw funds daily, if needed, pursuant to prescribed 
procedures implemented by FEMA. The amounts of the authorizations will 
be increased as necessary to meet the obligations of the Company under 
Article III.C-E. The Company may only request funds when net premium 
income has been depleted. The timing and amount of cash advances must 
be as close as is administratively feasible to the actual disbursements 
by the recipient organization for allowable Letter of Credit expenses. 
Request for payment on Letters of Credit may not ordinarily be drawn 
more frequently than daily. This Letter of Credit may be drawn by the 
Company for any of the following reasons:
    1. Payment of claims, as described in Article III.D;
    2. Refunds to applicants and policyholders for insurance premium 
overpayment, or if the application for insurance is rejected or when 
cancellation or endorsement of a policy results in a premium refund, as 
described in Article III.E; and
    3. Allocated and unallocated loss adjustment expenses, as described 
in Article III.C.
    B. FEMA must provide technical assistance to the Company as 
follows:
    1. FEMA's policy, history concerning underwriting, and claims 
handling.
    2. A mechanism to assist in clarification of coverage and claims 
questions.
    3. Other assistance as needed.
    C. FEMA must provide the Company with a copy of all formal written 
appeal decisions conducted in accordance with Section 205 of the 
Bunning-Bereuter-Blumenauer Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2004, Public 
Law 108-264 and 44 CFR 62.20.
    D. Prior to the end of the Arrangement period, FEMA may provide the 
Company a statistical summary of their performance during the signed 
Arrangement period. This summary will detail the Company's performance 
individually, as well as compare the Company's performance to the 
aggregate performance of all WYO companies and the NFIP Direct 
Servicing Agent.
Article V. Commencement and Termination
    A. The effective period of this Arrangement begins on October 1, 
2019 and terminates no earlier than September 30, 2020, subject to 
extension pursuant to Article V.C.

[[Page 18067]]

FEMA may provide financial assistance only for policy applications and 
endorsements accepted by the Company during this period pursuant to the 
Program's effective date, underwriting, and eligibility rules.
    B. Pursuant to 44 CFR 62.23(a), FEMA will publish the Arrangement 
and the terms for subscription or re-subscription for Fiscal Year 2021 
in the Federal Register no later than April 1, 2020. Upon such 
publication, the Company must notify FEMA of its intent to re-subscribe 
or not re-subscribe to the WYO Program for the following term within 
ninety (90) calendar days.
    C. In addition to the requirements of Article V.B, in order to 
assure uninterrupted service to policyholders, the Company must 
promptly notify FEMA in the event the Company elects not to re-
subscribe to the WYO Program during the term of this Arrangement. If so 
notified, or if FEMA chooses not to renew the Company's participation, 
FEMA, at its option, may require the continued performance of all or 
selected elements of this Arrangement for the period required for 
orderly transfer or cessation of business and settlement of accounts, 
not to exceed eighteen (18) months after the end of this Arrangement 
(September 30, 2020), and may either require transfer of activities to 
FEMA under Article V.C.1 or allow transfer of activities to another WYO 
company under Article V.C.2:
    1. FEMA may require the Company to transfer all activities under 
this Arrangement to FEMA. Within 30 calendar days of FEMA's election of 
this option, the Company must deliver to FEMA the following:
    a. A plan for the orderly transfer to FEMA of any continuing 
responsibilities in administering the policies issued by the Company 
under the Program including provisions for coordination assistance.
    b. All data received, produced, and maintained through the life of 
the Company's participation in the Program, including certain data, as 
determined by FEMA, in a standard format and medium.
    c. All claims and policy files, including those pertaining to 
receipts and disbursements that have occurred during the life of each 
policy. In the event of a transfer of the services provided, the 
Company must provide FEMA with a report showing, on a policy basis, any 
amounts due from or payable to insureds, agents, brokers, and others as 
of the transition date.
    d. All funds in its possession with respect to any policies 
transferred to FEMA for administration and the unearned expenses 
retained by the Company.
    e. A point of contact within the Company responsible for addressing 
issues that may arise from the Company's previous participation under 
the WYO Program.
    2. FEMA may allow the Company to transfer all activities under this 
Arrangement to one or more other WYO companies. Prior to commencing 
such transfer, the Company must submit and FEMA must approve a formal 
request. Such request must include the following:
    a. An assurance of uninterrupted service to policyholders.
    b. A detailed transfer plan providing for either: (1) the renewal 
of the Company's NFIP policies by one or more other WYO companies or 
(2) the transfer of the Company's NFIP policies to one or more other 
WYO companies.
    c. A description of who the responsible party will be for 
liabilities relating to losses incurred by the Company in this or 
preceding Arrangement years.
    d. A point of contact within the Company responsible for addressing 
issues that may arise from the Company's previous participation under 
the WYO Program.
    D. Cancellation by FEMA.
    1. FEMA may cancel financial assistance under this Arrangement in 
its entirety upon thirty (30) days written notice to the Company by 
certified mail stating one or more of the following reasons for such 
cancellation:
    a. Fraud or misrepresentation by the Company subsequent to the 
inception of the Arrangement; or
    b. Nonpayment to FEMA of any amount due; or
    c. Material failure to comply with the requirements of this 
Arrangement or with the written standards, procedures, or guidance 
issued by FEMA relating to the NFIP and applicable to the Company.
    2. If FEMA cancels this Arrangement pursuant to Article V.D.1, FEMA 
may require the transfer of administrative responsibilities and the 
transfer of data and records as provided in Article V.C.1.a-d. If 
transfer is required, the Company must remit to FEMA the unearned 
expenses retained by the Company. In such event, FEMA will assume all 
obligations and liabilities owed to policyholders under such policies, 
arising before and after the date of transfer.
    3. As an alternative to the transfer of the policies to FEMA 
pursuant to Article V.D.2, FEMA will consider a proposal, if it is made 
by the Company, for the assumption of responsibilities by another WYO 
company as provided in Article V.C.2.
    E. In the event that the Company is unable or otherwise fails to 
carry out its obligations under this Arrangement by reason of any order 
or directive duly issued by the Department of Insurance of any 
jurisdiction to which the Company is subject, the Company agrees to 
transfer, and FEMA will accept, any and all WYO policies issued by the 
Company and in force as of the date of such inability or failure to 
perform. In such event FEMA will assume all obligations and liabilities 
within the scope of the Arrangement owed to policyholders arising 
before and after the date of transfer, and the Company will immediately 
transfer to FEMA all needed records and data and all funds in its 
possession with respect to all such policies transferred and the 
unearned expenses retained by the Company. As an alternative to the 
transfer of the policies to FEMA, FEMA will consider a proposal, if it 
is made by the Company, for the assumption of responsibilities by 
another WYO company as provided by Article V.C.2.
    F. In the event the Act is amended, repealed, expires, or if FEMA 
is otherwise without authority to continue the Program, FEMA may cancel 
financial assistance under this Arrangement for any new or renewal 
business, but the Arrangement will continue for policies in force that 
shall be allowed to run their term under the Arrangement.
Article VI. Information and Annual Statements
    A. The Company must furnish to FEMA such summaries and analysis of 
information including claim file information and property address, 
location, and/or site information in its records as may be necessary to 
carry out the purposes of the Act, in such form as FEMA, in cooperation 
with the Company, will prescribe.
    B. Upon FEMA's request, the Company must provide FEMA with a true 
and correct copy of the Company's Fire and Casualty Annual Statement, 
and Insurance Expense Exhibit or amendments thereof as filed with the 
State Insurance Authority of the Company's domiciliary State.
Article VII. Cash Management and Accounting
    A. FEMA must make available to the Company during the entire term 
of this Arrangement, and any continuation period required by FEMA 
pursuant to Article V.C, the Letter of Credit provided for in Article 
IV drawn on a repository bank within the Federal

[[Page 18068]]

Reserve System. This Letter of Credit may be drawn by the Company for 
reimbursement of its expenses as set forth in Article IV that exceed 
net written premiums collected by the Company from the effective date 
of this Arrangement or continuation period to the date of the draw. In 
the event that adequate Letter of Credit funding is not available to 
meet current Company obligations for flood policy claim payments 
issued, FEMA must direct the Company to immediately suspend the 
issuance of loss payments until such time as adequate funds are 
available. The Company is not required to pay claims from their own 
funds in the event of such suspension.
    B. The Company must remit all funds, including interest, not 
required to meet current expenditures to the United States Treasury, in 
accordance with the provisions of the WYO Accounting Procedures Manual 
or procedures approved in writing by FEMA.
    C. In the event the Company elects not to participate in the 
Program in this or any subsequent fiscal year, or is otherwise unable 
or not permitted to participate, the Company and FEMA must make a 
provisional settlement of all amounts due or owing within three (3) 
months of the expiration or termination of this Arrangement. This 
settlement must include net premiums collected, funds drawn on the 
Letter of Credit, and reserves for outstanding claims. The Company and 
FEMA agree to make a final settlement, subject to audit, of accounts 
for all obligations arising from this Arrangement within eighteen (18) 
months of its expiration or termination, except for contingent 
liabilities that must be listed by the Company. At the time of final 
settlement, the balance, if any, due FEMA or the Company must be 
remitted by the other immediately and the operating year under this 
Arrangement must be closed.
Article VIII. Arbitration
    If any misunderstanding or dispute arises between the Company and 
FEMA with reference to any factual issue under any provisions of this 
Arrangement or with respect to FEMA's nonrenewal of the Company's 
participation, other than as to legal liability under or interpretation 
of the Standard Flood Insurance Policy, such misunderstanding or 
dispute may be submitted to arbitration for a determination that will 
be binding upon approval by FEMA. The Company and FEMA may agree on and 
appoint an arbitrator who will investigate the subject of the 
misunderstanding or dispute and make a determination. If the Company 
and FEMA cannot agree on the appointment of an arbitrator, then two 
arbitrators will be appointed, one to be chosen by the Company and one 
by FEMA.
    The two arbitrators so chosen, if they are unable to reach an 
agreement, must select a third arbitrator who must act as umpire, and 
such umpire's determination will become final only upon approval by 
FEMA. The Company and FEMA shall bear in equal shares all expenses of 
the arbitration. Findings, proposed awards, and determinations 
resulting from arbitration proceedings carried out under this section, 
upon objection by FEMA or the Company, shall be inadmissible as 
evidence in any subsequent proceedings in any court of competent 
jurisdiction.
    This Article shall indefinitely succeed the term of this 
Arrangement.
Article IX. Errors and Omissions
    In the event of negligence by the Company that has not resulted in 
litigation but has resulted in a claim against the Company, FEMA will 
not consider reimbursement of the Company for costs incurred due to 
that negligence unless the Company takes all reasonable actions to 
rectify the negligence and to mitigate any such costs as soon as 
possible after discovery of the negligence. The Company may choose not 
to seek reimbursement from FEMA.
    Further, if the claim against the Company is grounded in actions 
significantly outside the scope of this Arrangement or if there is 
negligence by the agent, FEMA will not reimburse any costs incurred due 
to that negligence. The Company will be notified in writing within 
thirty (30) days of a decision not to reimburse. In the event the 
Company wishes to petition for reconsideration of the decision not to 
reimburse, the procedure in Article III.D.3.d applies.
    However, in the event that the Company has made a claim payment to 
an insured without including a mortgagee (or trustee) of which the 
Company had actual notice prior to making payment, and subsequently 
determines that the mortgagee (or trustee) is also entitled to any part 
of said claim payment, any additional payment may not be paid by the 
Company from any portion of the premium and any funds derived from any 
federal letter of credit deposited in the bank account described in 
Article II.E. In addition, the Company agrees to hold the Federal 
Government harmless against any claim asserted against the Federal 
Government by any such mortgagee (or trustee), as described in the 
preceding sentence, by reason of any claim payment made to any insured 
under the circumstances described above.
Article X. Officials Not To Benefit
    No Member or Delegate to Congress, or Resident Commissioner, may be 
admitted to any share or part of this Arrangement, or to any benefit 
that may arise therefrom; but this provision may not be construed to 
extend to this Arrangement if made with a corporation for its general 
benefit.
Article XI. Offset
    At the settlement of accounts, the Company and FEMA has, and may 
exercise, the right to offset any balance or balances, whether on 
account of premiums, commissions, losses, loss adjustment expenses, 
salvage, or otherwise due one party to the other, its successors or 
assigns, hereunder or under any other Arrangements heretofore or 
hereafter entered into between the Company and FEMA. This right of 
offset shall not be affected or diminished because of insolvency of the 
Company.
    All debts or credits of the same class, whether liquidated or 
unliquidated, in favor of or against either party to this Arrangement 
on the date of entry, or any order of conservation, receivership, or 
liquidation, shall be deemed to be mutual debts and credits and shall 
be offset with the balance only to be allowed or paid. No offset shall 
be allowed where a conservator, receiver, or liquidator has been 
appointed and where an obligation was purchased by or transferred to a 
party hereunder to be used as an offset.
    Although a claim on the part of either party against the other may 
be unliquidated or undetermined in amount on the date of the entry of 
the order, such claim will be regarded as being in existence as of the 
date of such order and any credits or claims of the same class then in 
existence and held by the other party may be offset against it.
Article XII. Equal Opportunity
    The Company shall not discriminate against any applicant for 
insurance because of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, marital 
status, or national origin.
Article XIII. [Reserved]
    [Reserved]
Article XIV. Access to Books and Records
    FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Comptroller 
General of the United States, or their duly authorized representatives, 
for the

[[Page 18069]]

purpose of investigation, audit, and examination shall have access to 
any books, documents, papers and records of the Company that are 
pertinent to this Arrangement. The Company shall keep records that 
fully disclose all matters pertinent to this Arrangement, including 
premiums and claims paid or payable under policies issued pursuant to 
this Arrangement. Records of accounts and records relating to financial 
assistance shall be retained and available for three (3) years after 
final settlement of accounts, and to financial assistance, three (3) 
years after final adjustment of such claims. FEMA shall have access to 
policyholder and claim records at all times for purposes of the review, 
defense, examination, adjustment, or investigation of any claim under a 
flood insurance policy subject to this Arrangement.
Article XV. Compliance With Act and Regulations
    This Arrangement and all policies of insurance issued pursuant 
thereto are subject to federal law and regulations.
Article XVI. Relationship Between the Parties and the Insured
    Inasmuch as the Federal Government is a guarantor hereunder, the 
primary relationship between the Company and the Federal Government is 
one of a fiduciary nature, that is, to assure that any taxpayer funds 
are accounted for and appropriately expended. The Company is a fiscal 
agent of the Federal Government, but is not a general agent of the 
Federal Government. The Company is solely responsible for its 
obligations to its insured under any policy issued pursuant hereto, 
such that the Federal Government is not a proper party to any lawsuit 
arising out of such policies.

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 4071, 4081; 44 CFR 62.23.

David I. Maurstad,
Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, Federal 
Emergency Management Agency.
[FR Doc. 2019-08605 Filed 4-26-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 9111-52-P