Graves Takes a Stand for Louisiana Flood Victims
Washington, DC – Congressman Garret Graves (R – Baton Rouge) introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives today requiring the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide a predictable and timely response for flood insurance policyholders after they file a claim. The legislation establishes a deadline for approval of claims made under NFIP and mandates the program to make determinations within 30 days of the initial filing, followed by any payment owed under the claim.
“Last month people across south Louisiana were in water from their knees to their necks or higher. The following six weeks have added insult to the injury through confusion and uncertainty in the face of the unprecedented personal financial crisis and life strain,” said Graves. “Thousands of home and business owners are in limbo because they cannot get appropriate information or payment from their federal flood insurance policies. As a result, many are facing foreclosure or bankruptcy. Our bill requires that the National Flood Insurance Program quickly get answers and funding to home and business owners.”
The Timely Payments for Flood Victims Act of 2016 ensures that a home or business owner has certainty when it comes to filing a flood insurance claim under the National Flood Insurance Program. It requires that a determination of the claim must be made within 30 days of submission. Payments will be made as soon as possible should a claim be approved. It also provides for a 15 day extension past the 30 day deadline should extraordinary circumstances arise. This bill allows Congress to bring accountability to the NFIP in response to concerns voiced by those policyholders facing catastrophic loss from last month’s flooding.
Graves added: “The conflicting, inconsistent or lack of information regarding recovery assistance and agencies adds insult to the injury, prevents people from moving forward toward recovery and compounds frustrations. People are having to make decisions about whether and how to stay and rebuild or move; for many, it’s a false choice and these delays and lack of information make it worse -- It’s inexcusable. Our bill forces the NFIP program to provide the customer service taxpayers deserve.”
Congressman Graves’ bill is cosponsored by Congressmen Ralph Abraham, M.D. (R-Alto), Charles Boustany, M.D. (R-LA), and Cedric Richmond (D-LA). The full text of the bill can be found here.
"Flood insurance policy holders need timely and accurate information on their claims so that they can begin the recovery process. Disasters are painful events for our families, business owners and the communities in which they live, so the very last thing they need are delays in the process. I am proud to cosponsor this bill on behalf of Louisiana’s flood victims, and I look forward to working alongside Congressman Graves to see that it becomes law,” Dr. Abraham said.
Boustany said: “Many Louisianans are still waiting to hear whether or not their insurance claims have been approved from flooding that began over a month ago. That is unacceptable. These claims must be processed in a timely manner to ensure the rebuilding process will begin soon after disaster strikes. I am proud to support this important legislation.”