The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it is working to give every Hurricane Sandy survivor who thinks they may have been defrauded or received less than they were entitled to under their National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy, the opportunity to have their claim readjusted. The federal agency is also undertaking sweeping reforms that will change the way the NFIP is delivered, a top FEMA official said.
Brad Kieserman, deputy associate administrator for federal insurance at FEMA, issued a video statement Tuesday to directly address the flood insurance program’s policyholders.
“As you know, there’s been a lot of media coverage lately about allegations related to how we delivered the National Flood Insurance Program in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy,” said Kieserman. “There’s allegations of fraud, there’s allegations of underestimation of payments, and those allegations could impact any of our Sandy survivors.”
Kieserman said FEMA is working very hard to resolve litigation and to get the claimants out of the middle of these disputes. And, he added, FEMA is not only working to settle claims that are in litigation, but it wants to give “every Sandy survivor who thinks they may have been defrauded or received less than they were entitled to under their policy, the opportunity to have their claim readjusted.”
The FEMA official said the federal agency is very quickly establishing a process by which every Sandy survivor will have that opportunity if they had filed that claim under the National Flood Insurance Program.
Kieserman also said FEMA knows it has to make changes to the flood insurance program and that it’s undertaking sweeping reforms that will change the way the FEMA delivers the program.
“And that begins with making sure that anyone who’s involved in delivering the program, whether they’re a federal employee, a contractor, a subcontractor or anyone else, shares the values that we have about being survivor-centric in putting policyholders first,” he said.
He said FEMA will be sharing information with policyholders about some of the reforms it is contemplating and getting input from policyholders and others about how to go about making this a better program that puts policyholders first.
There are legitimate issues that need to be worked out in Congress, in the courts, and in the executive branch, Kieserman noted.
“But I want to make sure you know, and I want to get you out of the middle of all of these disputes. I want to get you the money you’re entitled to under your policy. And we’re going to do everything we can to give you the National Flood Insurance Program you deserve as policyholders and taxpayers,” he told NFIP policyholders.
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