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Two Long Islanders Participate in House Subcommittee Hearing on Flood Insurance Reform

March 17, 2017
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) invited Aram V. Terchunian of Westhampton Beach, New York, President of First Coastal Corporation, to testify as a witness yesterday at a Housing and Insurance Subcommittee hearing entitled, “Flood Insurance Reform: A Community Perspective.” Another Long Island resident, Melissa Luckman, Director of Disaster Law at Touro Law School, in Central Islip, New York, also participated in the hearing. 
Congressman Zeldin said, “The Housing and Insurance Subcommittee is currently considering the best path forward for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how to improve it to protect the solvency of the program and affordability for Long Island taxpayers. In Congress, I have heard from many Long Island homeowners who face difficulties navigating the complicated process and cutting through bureaucratic red tape when seeking an improvement in their premiums after an investment has been made to elevate a home or take other steps to protect a property. I invited Aram Terchunian of Westhampton Beach to share his personal experiences with the NFIP. With over 30 years of experience in storm mitigation and coastal restoration work, dealing directly with the NFIP on a daily basis, Mr. Terchunian’s firsthand experiences made him a valuable panelist for yesterday's hearing. Melissa Luckman shared the challenges she has encountered dealing with NFIP when helping guide families through the claims process. I'm looking forward to continuing my work with the committee to ensure a stable, solvent future for NFIP and sound, affordable policies for homeowners.”

Congressman Duffy, Chairman of the Housing and Insurance Subcommittee, said, “After getting FEMA’s perspective on flood insurance reform last week, this week’s hearing was an opportunity to hear a perspective from those whose community depend on the National Flood Insurance Program. Especially after Superstorm Sandy, it’s important to learn from FEMA’s claims review process, how to prepare against flood damage through better mitigation, and to better understand the barriers to entry for private flood insurance providers who may be able to offer consumers better costs and services, including claims handling.”

Aram Terchuniam said, "I was honored to be invited by Congressman Zeldin to testify before Congress on the importance of the National Flood Insurance Program to Long Island residents. Flood mitigation projects, such as the Fire Island to Montauk Point (FIMP) project are critical to the protection of Long Islanders and lowering flood insurance risk.”

Melissa Luckman said, “I was honored to be asked to testify before the House Subcommittee on Flood Insurance Reform. Immediately after Superstorm Sandy, the widespread fraud and systemic underpayments of flood insurance were discovered.  With the NFIP set to expire in September 2017, it is imperative that Congress take in account the reforms suggested by myself, as well as the other witnesses, to ensure that what happened to Sandy survivors never happens to policyholders again.”

The Subcommittee's full hearing can be viewed here