Pallone Meets With FEMA to Discuss Insurance Fraud Allegations

Mar 18, 2015 Issues: Hurricane Sandy, New Jersey

Highlights need for outreach from FEMA to policyholders who may have been defrauded

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and other members of the New Jersey Congressional delegation met with Brad Kieserman, Deputy Associate Administrator for Insurance at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to discuss the recent allegations that private insurance companies denied the flood insurance claims of thousands of Superstorm Sandy victims because of fraudulently altered engineering reports.

Pallone sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on March 3rd requesting that the agency provide notification of the fraud allegations to flood insurance claimants and establish a process that allows homeowners to easily file an appeal if they believe that they have been a victim of an intentionally altered engineering report.  FEMA has since agreed to notify all flood insurance claimants about the allegations of fraud. 

In the meeting, Pallone stressed the importance of FEMA establishing a notification process in a timely fashion and the need for adequate staff to address corrective action.  Deputy Associate Administrator Kieserman committed to setting up this process within 45 days, saying that he would place the initial focus on the 15,964 Sandy-related flood insurance claims that included engineering reports. 

“FEMA has a responsibility to inform the public about this fraud and to implement a process to ensure that Sandy victims get the money they are rightfully owed,” said Congressman Pallone.  “I am pleased that FEMA is taking these allegations of fraud seriously but I ensured Mr. Kieserman in today’s meeting that I will be staying engaged in this process to make certain Sandy victims are given the opportunity to have their flood claims reviewed.”

Deputy Associate Administrator Kieserman reiterated his commitment to get Sandy victims the money they are entitled to under their flood insurance policy.  74,052 National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims have been filed in New Jersey stemming from Sandy damage, but the vast majority of those who have filed claims are likely unaware of the recently uncovered fraud in which engineering reports have been intentionally doctored.