Pursuant to the Biggert-Waters Act, the Director of the FIO is required to conduct a study and submit to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives a report “providing an assessment of the current state of the market for natural catastrophe insurance in the United States.” The FIO Director must also consult with the National Academy of Sciences, State insurance regulators, consumer organizations, representatives of the insurance and reinsurance industry, policyholders, and other organizations and experts, as appropriate. To that end, on April 24, 2013, the FIO issued a notice seeking comments from these and other interested parties and the public.

The notice seeks comments on a number of areas, including: (1) the current condition of, and the outlook for, the availability and affordability of insurance for natural catastrophe perils in the United States, including whether a definition of a “natural catastrophe” should be established; (2) the current ability of States, communities, and individuals to mitigate their natural catastrophe risks; (3) the current state of catastrophic insurance and reinsurance markets and the current approaches in providing insurance protection to different sectors of the population of the United States; (4) the current financial condition of State residual markets and catastrophe funds in high-risk regions; (5) the current role of the Federal Government and State and local governments in providing incentives for feasible risk mitigation efforts and the cost of providing post-natural catastrophe aid in the absence of insurance; and (6) current approaches to insuring natural catastrophe risks in the United States.

Comments and papers containing analyses of natural catastrophes and the current state of the insurance market must be received by the FIO on or before June 24, 2013.