FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program announced this afternoon it will reinspect some damage claims in eastern NC after complaints from state officials. The inspections will begin immediately.
FEMA also announced its toll-free hotline for flood insurance policy holders who have questions about their claims. The number is 855-336-2002, and FEMA says inquiries will be responded to within 72 hours.
We reported yesterday that NC Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Disaster Recovery Chief Bob Etheridge had sent the agency a sharply worded letter about complaints they'd heard from victims of Hurricane Irene. Some said federal flood claims adjusters had conducted shoddy damage inspections or in some cases, failed to even show up.
FEMA Spokeswoman Rachel Racusen sent the following comment to WRAL late yesterday after we asked about the reported problems.
“The National Flood Insurance Program has received the letter and is currently reviewing it. We will continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders, including state insurance commissioners, to ensure we are delivering the best possible service to our customers and helping disaster survivors recover from Hurricane Irene as quickly as possible.”
According to today's news release, NFIP Claims director Jim Sadler and other FEMA officials met with state officials in Raleigh this morning.
"After a disaster, the flood insurance program routinely sends general adjusters to reexamine a random sampling of claims as a quality control measure. This effort will be expanded in North Carolina for Hurricane Irene flood claims," said the release.
According to FEMA, more than 9,000 Irene flood claims have been filed with insurance companies over the past two months, and more than $56 million in claims has already has been paid out.