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Attorney claims victims of 2016 flood being underpaid by $70,000 on average

BATON ROUGE, LA - AUGUST 15: Richard Schafer navigates a boat past a flooded home on August 15, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Record-breaking rains pelted Louisiana over the weekend leaving the city with historic levels of flooding that have caused at least seven deaths and damaged thousands of homes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS – A lawyer who found widespread insurance underpayment after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy now claims Louisiana homeowners are being shorted by the National Flood Insurance Program.

John Houghtaling said local homeowners are being underpaid by an average of $70,000 by the program.

“In my discovery, it appears that the victims of the Louisiana floods of 2016, are being low-balled an average of $70,000 per household,” Houghtaling said. “The same practices used to short victims of their rightful claim that were uncovered during Hurricane Sandy are still being employed by adjusters to save the NFIP money that’s rightfully due to the flood victim.”

Louisiana Senators Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy have both supported a recent bill aimed at removing insurers that were found to have underpaid homeowners after Sandy.

Houghtaling’s work after Sandy led FEMA to reopen 144,000 claims and resulted in over $700 million in additional payments to homeowners who had been initially underpaid.