N.J. Gov.: Fed Flood Insurance Program ‘Has Stunk’
|By ANGELA DELLI SANTI, Associated Press|
The governor said excessive paperwork, inadequate staffing, cumbersome audits and the threat of financial penalties to carriers and adjusters is interfering with the timely issuance of payments, prolonging the suffering of the thousands of
"Our local insurance companies have been doing a great job of settling and moving these claims very quickly," Christie said. "The national flood insurance plan has stunk."
"I've been as patient as I'm going to be," the governor added. "They need to get more people into
Sandy damaged or destroyed about 346,000 housing units in
The state and charities are waiting for the federal settlements so they can determine how much to award in grants to help people rebuild, the Republican governor said during a briefing in the heavily damaged Jersey Shore community of
Christie said he is asking
The governor complained that only about 30 percent of flood claims have been settled, or closed, compared with 85 percent of homeowners' claims. An estimated 430,000 other insurance claims have been filed by residents and businesses.
He said "it is imperative that insurance claims be brought to final resolution so that residents can make critical decisions on if and how to rebuild."
While he was expressing frustration with the pace of claims settlements, Christie at the same time urged residents to stay patient.
"This is an unprecedented set of circumstances in the state of
Several Christie administration officials had set up a mobile office inside the local firehouse to assist residents who are having trouble getting answers from insurers or governments. There was no shortage of takers.
Christie also announced that the state
Associated Press Writer
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