You hear and see advertisements all the time about how insurance companies are there for you. For those affected by flooding rains across the state this year those words have been ringing rather hollow. While state law mandates that private insurance companies have 30 days to respond to claims, guess what agency is under no time table to serve the needs of the people? If you guessed the National Flood Insurance Program you'd be correct in your assumption.

A Louisiana lawmaker, Garret Graves of Baton Rouge, has introduced legislation that would require future disaster victims to receive help in a more timely fashion. That would include assistance from the National Flood Insurance Program.

Under Louisiana state law, companies generally have 30 days to make decisions. Yet that law doesn’t apply to the national flood insurance program because it’s a federal program.

In his comments to the Louisiana Radio Network Graves suggested that the biggest complaint he has heard from constituents is the lack of timely response to claims.  Under his proposed legislation even the federal insurance programs would be subject to the same 30 day response time as private insurance.

We’re going to try and not go through the regular process and attach this to a larger package that’s moving through the Congress.

Graves says the reason for the expedited push is because people need help now. He told the media that the longer it takes for insurance companies to respond to claim the longer it will take for Louisiana residents to recover from this disaster.

There is also an underlying affect that could affect cities and towns across the state if these homes are not repaired in a timely fashion.

If the value of these homes is cut in half or less because their gutted and flooded, that’s going to end up resulting in much greater problems in our community in terms of these critical public services.

Property taxes are the primary revenue sources for drainage, fire departments, schools, and police. If the tax revenue is cut in half by devalued homes then this could result in major cutbacks in services offered.