IBA Southeast: NFIP pays out more than $1 billion since the August Louisiana floods

Flood insurer undertakes reforms to be more responsive to clients

Insurance News

By Allie Sanchez

Louisiana residents have been the recipients of prompt action from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), with more than $1 billion paid in less than three months.

Policyholders used the payments to repair or rebuild their homes and businesses. A fraction of the beneficiaries also received additional payments to improve their structures to make them more resilient to future storms and floods.

In August, heavy rains brought severe flooding to the state, said to be the worst since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012.

This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) undertook reforms in the federal flood insurance program to make it more responsive to the needs of policy holders.

Among others, it overhauled its appeals office in February this year. It also set up a Customer Experience Office the following month.

Additionally, it moved to overhaul its arrangement with private insurers to address debt incurred during Hurricane Sandy early in the decade. Hurricane Katrina almost dried up the NFIP’s coffers, driving the agency to turn to private insurance firms to cover the multi-billion dollar tab that came with the claims that came pouring in after Sandy.

This summer, the agency scheduled the litigation settlement of such debt with a new claims appeal process expected to be in place towards the end of the year.  

The reforms are aimed at engaging with policyholders who file appeals, make the NFIP more transparent and easier to understand and readjust claims and make additional payments when necessary.

Related stories:
Morning Briefing: Insurable losses of up to $11 billion for Louisiana floods
Huge Louisiana floods were mostly uninsured

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