Summary: H.R.2555 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Reported to House with amendment(s) (07/13/2010)

Homeowners' Defense Act of 2010 - Title I: National Catastrophe Risk Consortium - (Sec. 101) Establishes the National Catastrophe Risk Consortium as a nonprofit, nonfederal entity to: (1) maintain an inventory of catastrophe risk obligations held by state reinsurance funds, state residual insurance market entities, and state-sponsored providers of natural catastrophe insurance; (2) issue, on a conduit basis, securities and other financial instruments linked to catastrophe risks insured or reinsured through Consortium members; (3) coordinate reinsurance contracts; (4) act as a centralized repository of state risk information accessible by certain private-market participants; and (5) establish a database to perform research and analysis that encourages standardization of the risk-linked securities market.

(Sec. 104) Prohibits the Consortium from: (1) engaging in federal election and lobbying activities; (2) making any contribution to a candidate for election for any state or local office or to any group that receives contributions or makes expenditures for the purpose of influencing any election; (3) employing or retaining any person who engages in influencing any such election or the legislating of any state or local legislative body; or (4) providing any thing of value, other than educational materials or information, to any elected official of a governmental entity.

(Sec. 107) Shields the federal government and the Consortium from liability for Consortium actions. Declares that participating states retain all catastrophe risk until the Consortium: (1) issues securities and other financial instruments linked to the catastrophe risks insured or reinsured through members of the Consortium in the capital markets; and (2) coordinates reinsurance contracts between participating, qualified reinsurance funds and private parties.

(Sec. 108) Authorizes appropriations for FY2010-FY2014.

Title II: Catastrophe Obligation Guarantees - (Sec. 202) Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to guarantee holders of debt against loss of principal or interest, or both, on debt issued by eligible state programs that: (1) promote the availability of private capital to provide liquidity and capacity to state catastrophe insurance programs; (2) expedite claims payments; and (3) assist financial recovery from significant natural catastrophes.

Provides separate limits on the total principal amount of such obligations for programs that cover earthquake peril and those that cover all other perils.

Subjects the catastrophic debt guarantee to specified requirements.

(Sec. 204) Pledges the full faith and credit of the United States to the payment of all guarantees with respect to principal and interest.

(Sec. 205) Directs the Secretary to charge and collect fees for such guarantees.

Title III: Reinsurance Coverage for Eligible State Programs - (Sec. 301) Directs the Secretary to make contracts for reinsurance coverage available for purchases only by eligible state programs.

(Sec. 302) Sets pricing guidelines and limits aggregate potential federal liability.

(Sec. 305) Establishes a Federal Natural Catastrophe Reinsurance Fund to be funded by: (1) sales of reinsurance coverage contracts; (2) amounts appropriated for liability for claims payment; and (3) earnings on investments.

Title IV: Mitigation Grant Program - (Sec. 401) Directs the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to establish and implement a program of grants to eligible entities to develop, enhance, or maintain programs to prevent and mitigate losses from natural catastrophes. Includes among such eligible entities a nationally recognized, congressionally chartered disaster response non-profit organization.

Requires the Secretary of HUD to use for such grants at least 35% of the net investment income from the Federal Natural Catastrophe Reinsurance Fund earned in each fiscal year.

Title V: General Provisions - (Sec. 501) Prescribes grant criteria for eligible state programs.

Prohibits this Act from being construed to limit or prevent any eligible state program from obtaining reinsurance coverage for insured losses retained by insurers.

(Sec. 502) Directs the Secretary to study the need for and impact of expanding the programs established by this Act to apply to insured losses of eligible state programs for losses arising from commercial insurance policies that provide coverage for properties composed predominantly of residential rental units.

(Sec. 503) Directs the Comptroller General to study and report to Congress on: (1) risk-based rate pricing, to determine the use of actuarially sound pricing for state insurance, reinsurance, or residual market programs (including what measures states are taking to implement actuarially sound rates); and (2) rates for state insurance, reinsurance, or residual market programs that fail to cover the expected value of all future costs, including the cost of capital, associated with insurance policies or reinsurance contracts written by such programs, or that fail to have sufficient assets above their indebtedness to meet their obligations.