WASHINGTON, D.C., July 30, 2014 — The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA or the Big “I”) today commended the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation, and Community Development for conducting a hearing entitled, “The Flood Insurance Claims Process in Communities After Sandy: Lessons Learned and Potential Improvements.”
The hearing discussed the claims process for homeowners and businesses administered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and Write Your Own (WYO) companies after the devastating Superstorm Sandy struck the East Coast in 2012. To date, the NFIP has paid out more than $8 billion in flood claims resulting from the storm. It is estimated that Sandy was responsible for a total of $65 billion in damage in the United States, second only to Hurricane Katrina in total losses from a tropical system.
”The Big ‘I’ commends the Senate Banking Committee for investigating the NFIP claims process after the major damage caused by Superstorm Sandy,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “While there is always room for improvement, we believe that for the most part the NFIP, and WYO’s specifically, did an admirable and effective job in administering the claims process in the face of significant challenges. The numbers tell the story and, in fact, 99.6% of all claims are successfully closed. It is important for consumers to know that if they are not satisfied with their claims handling, there is a mechanism in place for them to file an appeal through FEMA.”
The Big “I” will join with other industry partners at a National Flood Conference next year to discuss how to improve claims handling for future events in the next reauthorization of the program. The NFIP will need to be reauthorized yet again before 2017 and work is expected to begin as soon as next year on that effort.
Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address: www.independentagent.com.