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Sunday, Nov 19, 2017
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Sen. Nelson urges FEMA to examine high number of denied flood claims

Sen. Bill Nelson urged FEMA on Tuesday to ensure fairness, proper oversight and transparency in processing Hurricane Irma aid following a report by the Palm Beach Post that 90 percent of Irma claims under the National Flood Insurance Program had been denied.

In a letter, the Florida senator pointed a finger at — but did not specifically name — David Maurstad, FEMA's assistant administrator for federal insurance. Maurstad previously served as an executive for Optimal Solutions and Technologies, a company accused of lowering claim totals following Superstorm Sandy.

"Unfortunately, this could be seen by some as a case of the fox guarding the hen house," Nelson wrote. "NFIP policyholders must have confidence in the claims process."

Nelson called for FEMA to make sure the claims process is timely and fair, list any safeguards the organization implemented to protect against such fraud and allow the appeals process to be "transparent and independent."

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