WH senior adviser blasts State Farm for using loophole to deny coverage to Hurricane Ida victims

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Cedric Richmond, senior adviser to President Biden, appeared Thursday on Don Lemon Tonight to speak about the devastation left by Hurricane Ida and the need for insurance companies to take care of their policyholders. While certain companies, like Allstate and USAA, have agreed to cover some additional costs, State Farm has reportedly refused to cover any extra costs for homeowners who were not under a mandatory evacuation order.

“We have companies like State Farm, and I call them by name, that have decided that they're still going to use that loophole or that technicality or fine print, to deny coverage,” Richmond said. “People left because it was a storm bigger than Katrina. Then it knocked out the power [for] over a million people and southern heat, 102, 105 heat advisories, and State Farm's position is that people could have went home and lived in that house.”

Biden urged insurance providers late last week to step up and cover extra costs without naming any companies, but Richmond specifically called out State Farm’s leadership.

“My opinion is that the CEOs and the leadership at State Farm would not stay in a house with damage, without power in 105-degree heat,” Richmond said, “and they should not expect Louisiana citizens or Mississippi citizens to do that.”

Richmond, a Louisiana native and former congressman from the state, also spoke about the financial hardships people in his home state are now facing.

“The amount of calls that I get from people who find themselves in a position of having to replace all the food in their refrigerator, pay for hotel rooms, pay for travel back home and pay for the food,” Richmond said, “this is not a game, this is real, and the money adds up.”

Don Lemon Tonight airs weeknights at 10 p.m. on CNN.

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