Newsday readers following your coverage of disputed Sandy flood claims have reason to be both pleased and shocked by the findings of a U.S. Senate Banking Committee investigation ["Panel supports FEMA," News, June 23].
Readers should be pleased at the finding that private write-your-own insurers, who sold and adjusted Sandy claims on behalf of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's National Flood Insurance Program, had no financial incentive to underpay Sandy flood claimants, as had been alleged. They didn't do so on a systemic basis. Indeed, the committee found that the private insurers performed better than the government when settling claims.
More shocking is the committee's finding that a plaintiff's attorney was prepared to earn millions of dollars in taxpayer-financed fees until he was stopped in his tracks by the Department of Homeland Security.
The committee's exhaustive analysis of how FEMA's flood insurance program processed and paid out nearly $8 billion to more than 140,000 Sandy flood claimants confirmed that the overwhelming majority of Sandy flood claims were properly paid. The private write-your-own insurers should rightly view the Senate committee's report as an affirmation of what they've said since this controversy erupted: They settled fairly and expeditiously 99-plus percent of their Sandy flood claims.
Robert Hartwig, Manhattan
Editor's note: The writer is the president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.