For Immediate Release: February 28, 2012

NCDOI Reviews Hurricane Irene Response

Commissioner Goodwin encourages Congress to examine flood insurance issues

RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin today issued a memorandum summarizing the Department of Insurance and Office of State Fire Marshal's response to Hurricane Irene.

"Six months after Hurricane Irene reached North Carolina, my staff and I have completed our review and assessment of the insurance-related challenges our citizens faced in the aftermath of the storm," Goodwin said. "Our first responders from the Office of State Fire Marshal were some of the first boots on the ground, and our Department's insurance specialists were some of the last, assisting people with their insurance questions or complaints."

As of the end of December 2011, NCDOI had handled 272 written complaints and 725 phone calls related to Hurricane Irene. Through the 272 filed written complaints, more than $400,000 was recovered for policyholders.

The majority of complaints were for unsatisfactory settlement offers, delays in settlement payment and denials of claims. Additional complaints involved trip insurance, mortgage lenders withholding insurance checks and the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by FEMA.

"Given the overall complaints and complications North Carolina suffered as a result of the National Flood Insurance Program, I encourage Congress to examine that program's response to Irene," added Goodwin.

Goodwin has also encouraged North Carolina's congressional delegation to support the extension of the National Flood Insurance Program by at least five years.

Read the full summary of Department of Insurance Hurricane Irene response at this website.