FEMA chief questioned over Sandy claims

FEMA chief questioned over Sandy claims

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Hurricane Sandy damage in Mantoloking, N.J. Hurricane Sandy damage in Mantoloking, N.J.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency has asked an independent watchdog to examine whether the flood-insurance program is shortchanging Superstorm Sandy victims.

Administrator Craig Fugate testified before a subcommittee chaired by Sen. Robert Menendez on Wednesday.

The Record newspaper reports the New Jersey Democrat and other lawmakers told Fugate they've received hundreds of complaints about Sandy-related claims.

Fugate says he's asked FEMA's inspector general to ensure the agency provides rapid payments without making fraud protection its only goal.

FEMA says a third of the 236,000 flood insurance policies in effect in New Jersey had a claim after Sandy.

Fugate also asked the watchdog to examine claims by New York Sen. Chuck Schumer that lawyers representing insurers were making appeals last longer to increase their fees.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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