Casey Calls on Insurers to Speed Damage Claims from Irene and Lee

With 25 Percent of Insurance Claims Still Unprocessed, Senator Casey Calls on Insurance Companies to Quicken Claims Process as Winter Approaches

WEST PITTSTON, PA – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on insurers to quickly approve outstanding claims from Pennsylvanians suffering damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. With the heart of winter approaching, about 25 percent of claims in Pennsylvania remain unprocessed.

“Pennsylvanians have worked tirelessly to rebuild in the wake of the devastating floods, but too many families and businesses are still struggling to pay their bills and make ends meet because they’re waiting for their claims to be processed,” Senator Casey said. “I urge insurance companies to redouble their efforts to process claims quickly so that Pennsylvanians affected by flooding can return normalcy to their lives and remove one source of economic stress.”

At Agolino’s Restaurant in West Pittston, Senator Casey released a letter to the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, which has about 200 insurance companies as members, urging the companies to quickly process the remaining claims resulting from the storms. The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that about 27 percent of claims from Tropical Storm Lee and 25 percent of claims from Hurricane Irene have yet to be processed in Pennsylvania.

Joey Agolino of Agolino’s Restaurant said, “Senator Casey has been integral with helping the flood damaged community of West Pittston.  I want to thank him for pushing insurers to make these payments to the people who need it most.”

Senator Casey met with business owners affected by flooding at Agolino’s in September while calling on the U.S. Small Businesses Administration to lower interest rates on disaster relief loans. The restaurant, which suffered extensive damage in the flooding, reopened earlier this month.

The full text of Senator Casey’s letter to the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania is below:

Mr. James J. Tanous

Chairman

Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania, Inc.

Philadelphia, PA

Dear Mr. Tanous:

As you know, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee caused devastating flooding across Pennsylvania earlier this year.  Families and businesses have worked hard over the past several months to rebuild in the wake of the disaster, some using their own funds to undertake reconstruction projects while waiting for their insurance claims to be processed.  Now more than three months later, many Pennsylvanians are still waiting.

The National Flood Insurance Program estimates that approximately 27 percent of claims from Tropical Storm Lee and 25 percent of claims from Hurricane Irene have yet to be processed by private insurance companies.  Some families and businesses that have invested their own resources in repairs are struggling to make ends meet.  Others have been unable to begin making repairs until they receive the anticipated assistance.  With winter storms approaching, it is critical that these outstanding flood insurance claims be given the highest priority. 

I appreciate insurance providers’ ongoing efforts to process claims and provide relief to victims of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.  I urge the members of the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania to redouble efforts to quickly process all remaining flood insurance claims so that the people of our Commonwealth have the resources they need to recover and rebuild in the wake of this disaster.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator