Washington, DC - Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate to express disappointment with the continued delays for claim reviews from victims of Superstorm Sandy. Although Superstorm Sandy occurred over four years ago, 36% of Sandy claims still remain open.
"These policyholders have been waiting for years to get their claims resolved, and are eager to move on with their lives," said Pallone. "I have heard from constituents who began the process with a FEMA contact, only to have that person leave their position, causing the victim to spend weeks or months trying to connect with their new contact. FEMA should be focused on resolving claims, not blaming victims for delays."
In May, Pallone led a bipartisan letter from members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation to Administrator Fugate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requesting that it take swift action on behalf of those who have suffered from documented, widespread fraud perpetrated by private insurance companies in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. The lawmakers asked for an explanation of why it is taking FEMA so long to process the insurance claims of these victims and to detail the steps FEMA is taking to swiftly rectify the situation.
After that letter was sent, Pallone and Congressman Bill Pascrell (NJ-09) met with Roy Wright, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance and Mitigation at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to demand that FEMA take swift action to process claims for victims of Hurricane Sandy. At the meeting, Wright stated that FEMA would have the unprocessed claims finished by the end of the summer.
Last year Congressman Pallone introduced the Flood Insurance Reimbursement Standards Transparency (FIRST) Cap Profits Act and he will introduce in the new Congress. The bill would require increased oversight and transparency of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and cap the profits of private companies providing flood insurance at 10%. Pallone's bill also includes a provision to require that private flood insurance companies cover the legal fees of plaintiffs if the company is found to have committed fraud.