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Senate bill would create catastrophe commission


WASHINGTON--The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee approved a bill Wednesday that would create a national commission to examine how to deal with natural catastrophe risks.

The Commission on Natural Catastrophe Risk Management and Insurance Act of 2007, which passed on a voice vote, would create a 16-member commission required to issue a report on its findings to the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee by Dec. 1, 2008.

The bipartisan commission would be instructed to examine such matters as the effectiveness of building codes, the private insurance market's ability to withstand natural catastrophes, and the "benefits and costs of proposed federal natural catastrophe reinsurance programs."

The commission would also examine "the impact demographic trends could have on the amount of insured losses inflicted by future hurricanes."