FEMA memo may have authorized insurance overbilling

Well well look at what that controversial FEMA memo to insurance companies on expediting Katrina insurance claims said…

“FEMA will not seek reimbursement from the company when a subsequent
review identifies overpayments resulting from the company’s proper use
of FEMA depth data and a reasonable method of developing square foot
value in concluding claims.”

As the Times Picayune points out the memo says “when” not “if.” As Bob Hunter director of the insurance program at the Consumer Federation of America said…”That’s a blank check, isn’t it?” 

It appears the insurance companies developed the procedures outlined in the memo…

Until now, exactly what role insurance companies played in the
development of that memo has been something of a mystery.On Thursday,
the American Insurance Association took credit for developing the
procedures with FEMA.

“We came up with the idea of doing it,” said Eric Goldberg,
assistant general counsel at the trade group.
“We thought there ought
to be some sort of policy in place that would enable the (insurance)
companies to get money into the hands of consumers when it was
absolutely clear that there was damage caused by flooding.” (my emphasis)

I remember back in 2005 thinking to myself that a President should call in the heads of insurance companies for a little talk–do your job now and we will not tolerate any pussyfooting around. Of course I forgot Bush was the Prez of an administration that has all too often let industry dictate the agenda and write government policy.

Background on memo and insurance companies’ alleged Katrina fraud:

Allstate Sucks up Your Tax Dollars

Federal Judge Orders Dept of Justice to Enter in Insurance Companies Katrtina Fraud Case or Show Cause

Taylor calls for subpoenas related to insurance companies’ Katrina fraud

Scout’s Obsession with the GAO: Feds don’t know what they’re paying for

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