FEMA Chief Faces Questions Over Sandy Claims

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.