WASHINGTON, D.C. (U.S. J. Kennedy)– U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) today announced an important provision in the bipartisan National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization and Reform (NFIP Re) Act that will protect homeowners from taxpayer-funded consultants with a track record of unfairly lowering property damage assessments.
The bill allows FEMA to fire consultants, contractors, law firms, engineering firms and any other third-party company involved in NFIP contracts who deliberately mishandles claims to lower what insurance companies must pay to homeowners after a disaster. Currently, FEMA can only make a termination when there is a criminal conviction.
For example, a federal judge accused contractor U.S. Forensic of “reprehensible gamesmanship” for rewriting engineer reports to lower the amount of property damage that could be attributed to Superstorm Sandy. Despite these accusations, U.S. Forensic still can participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.
“Homeowners already are victimized when their property is destroyed. They shouldn’t be victimized twice,” said Sen. Kennedy. “ Unfortunately, bad actors continue to receive federal contracts despite reprehensible behavior in minimizing property damage. Thankfully, this bill includes my provision allowing FEMA to more easily fire fraudulent contractors.