Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri) was recognized for his work on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and for advocating for private flood insurance to satisfy continuous coverage requirements.
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri) is the Gerald Solomon – Big “I" Legislator of the Year for 2021.
Representing the 13 counties that make up the 3rd Congressional District of Missouri, Rep. Luetkemeyer—pictured (center) with Bob Rusbuldt, Big "I" president & CEO (left) and Charles Symington, Big “I" senior vice president of external, industry and government affairs (right)—is a native of St. Elizabeth, Missouri, where his family has lived for four generations. In addition to having a background in agriculture, Rep. Luetkemeyer is a former family independent agency owner and small businessman. He served in the banking and insurance industry for over 30 years. He also served as a bank regulator for the state of Missouri.
He currently serves on the House Financial Services Committee as ranking member of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and as ranking member of the House Committee on Small Business, where he advocates for Main Street businesses and, in particular, independent insurance agents.
“Whether it was extending the time in which small businesses had to apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) or working tirelessly to streamline the loan forgiveness process, Blaine was fighting for small businesses throughout the pandemic as ranking member of the House Small Business Committee," said Charles Symington, Big “I" senior vice president of external, industry and government affairs.
“On the Financial Services Committee, Blaine has once again gone to bat for independent agents as he continues to be the lead Republican sponsor for one of our top priorities, H.R. 4699, the 'Continuous Coverage for Flood Insurance Act,'" Symington said. “The bill would allow for private flood insurance to satisfy continuous coverage requirements, which ensures that if consumers leave the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for the private market and later must return, they can do so without penalty."
Securing a long-term reauthorization of the NFIP is among the issues that independent insurance agents will address at the 2022 Big “I" Legislative Conference, taking place this week. With the NFIP extended on a short-term basis, the Big “I" supports a long-term reauthorization of a modernized NFIP that would increase take-up rates, both in the NFIP and the private market.
During last year's Legislative Conference, Rep. Luetkemeyer spoke with Symington about the issues important to independent insurance agents, including the dangers of raising taxes on small business and the importance of state-based insurance regulation.
Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.