Davis Calls for Katrina Insurance Claim Investigation
Today, Congressman Jim Davis spoke on the floor of the House of
Representatives in support of an amendment initiating an investigation
into whether insurance companies have been shirking their duties when
assessing damage claims from Hurricane Katrina.
Rep. Gene Taylors amendment requires the Homeland Security
Departments Inspector General to investigate Hurricane Katrina damage
claims to determine whether insurance companies are improperly
attributing damages to flooding instead of high winds.
Insurance companies are responsible for covering damage caused by
windstorms, but damage from flooding is covered by the federally funded
National Flood Insurance Program.
a time when storm-ravaged communities are struggling to rebuild,
insurance companies should be stepping up to the plate for their paying
customers, not shifting the burden to the American taxpayers, said
did not experience the widespread devastation that Hurricane Katrina
delivered to New Orleans
and elsewhere, but having weathered eight hurricanes in the last two years
alone, Floridians share the same concerns as Katrinas victims.
This amendment will help guarantee that insurance companies are
meeting their responsibilities to all storm victims.
amendment was being offered to H.R. 4973, the Flood Insurance Reform and
Modernization Act. The
amendment called on the Inspector General to report his findings to
Congress no later than six months after the bill is signed into law.
is the text of Rep. Davis' speech on the House floor in support of the
National Flood Insurance Program is critical to our country,
particularly those of us that live in the coastal States. It is
even more critical now because, as we have learned in
and many States, we have entered a cycle of historic proportions in
terms of hurricanes and hurricane damage.
reason I rise is to speak in support of the
amendment, which will be offered by Congressman Taylor of
Mississippi, that calls for a study by the Inspector General of the Department of
Homeland Security into what I think is a growing crisis not just in
but now in Florida.
Florida, the insurance industry recently succeeded in a session of the
legislature in passing a law that repeals a 100-year-old law called the
value policy law." This loophole that has been created in
is resulting in hundreds, and I fear soon thousands, of Floridians
sitting back and waiting to get paid by their insurance company and
watching the flood insurer blame the wind insurer, and the wind insurer
blame the flood insurer.
is even worse in Mississippi, where one of our colleagues, Congressman Taylor, who is offering this
amendment, is being forced, while serving as a Member of Congress, to
sue his own insurance company. The same is true down at the other end of
the Capitol, with Senator Trent Lott and at least one Federal judge.
law in Mississippi, now the law in
Florida, could become a law throughout the country; and we need to study this
because I think the impact on the consumer will be devastating.
you fly over Florida, which you and many of your constituents will do, now that it is summer
vacation, you will still see thousands of blue tarps from a year ago
from the last hurricanes. Every time you see one of those tarps, it
represents a Floridian, a family who either cannot live in their home or
is suffering water damage every time it rains. And it rains in
in the summertime.
is not a Federal issue, at least yet; but it is a very important State
issue to our constituents. The least we can do as a Congress is to
support Congressman Taylor's very simple amendment to have this study
done about the impact to the consumer of this loophole that has been
and now in Florida
and perhaps other States. We need to be there to protect our
constituents in a time of storm.