WASHINGTON — The following statement is in response to the PBS Frontline and NPR news documentary entitled The Business of Disaster. The statement can be attributed to Robert Gordon, senior vice president, policy development and research at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“Insurers are committed to assisting policyholders in need, quickly and efficiently. This is not about profits or process. It’s about protecting families and communities,” said Gordon.
“The industry has a strong track record of settling claims quickly and with few errors. However, lessons have been learned and insurers want to be part of the solution to improve the system,” continued Gordon. “PCI is working with Congress to make improvements to the flood insurance system and the customer experience, including discussions of greater private sector involvement. An evolving flood marketplace with private and public providers offering more choices could help get families and businesses back on their feet sooner after a disaster.”
Today, more than 5.1 million Americans depend on flood insurance to protect their homes and businesses. Write Your Own (WYO) companies partner with FEMA to administer flood insurance – from marketing to claims-handling functions. The government created the WYO program in 1983 to leverage the private sector in selling, servicing, and adjusting policies with a much broader infrastructure than FEMA could replicate.
“WYO companies have no incentive to underpay policyholders. WYO insurers are required to strictly follow the terms of FEMA’s policy contracts. WYOs do not underwrite risk or make underwriting profits – they only act as an agent for the federal taxpayers and are subject to strict penalties if they fail to follow FEMA’s settlement guidelines,” continued Gordon.
“PCI and our WYO member companies remain committed to putting consumers first and helping them prepare and recover from natural catastrophes as we enter the 2016 Hurricane Season. Building safer, stronger, more resilient communities is a goal for us all. We are all in this together,” concluded Gordon.