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Policyholders to be heard on Capitol Hill


AS CONGRESS prepares to debate how to increase the availability of property insurance in catastrophe-prone areas and to make the coverage more affordable, one key voice hasn't received much of a hearing. That's the voice of commercial policyholders, whose concerns don't receive the same attention as those of homeowners and state officials.

Fortunately, that state of affairs may change soon. That's because a new group, the Natural Catastrophe Policyholders Coalition, has formed to give commercial policyholders a way to get their concerns heard on Capitol Hill. As we report on page 4, the NCPC wants to play much the same role in the area of natural catastrophe insurance as the Coalition to Insure Against Terrorism has played in promoting the federal terrorism insurance backstop. That's a worthy model to emulate, as the CIAT has proved to be a key player in the halls of Congress.

If lawmakers are to arrive at sound public policy decisions regarding catastrophe property insurance, they've got to take the interests of business as well as homeowners into account. We have no reason to doubt that the NCPC will provide that much-needed voice on Capitol Hill in the future.