NEWARK - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is seeking changes to the national flood insurance program aimed at increasing transparency and oversight.

The actions come following complaints that insurers lowballed and shortchanged homeowners who sustained damage from Superstorm Sandy.

Deputy associate administrator for insurance and mitigation Roy Wright wants FEMA to take control of the process so policyholders come first.

Wright wants FEMA to re-do its contract with the 79 private insurance companies that offer flood policies. FEMA will assign a person to help policyholders through the appeals process if they're not satisfied with their flood claims and a litigation team will seek to limit the length of disputes.

More than $58 million in additional funds have been paid to 13,000 Sandy homeowners who asked the agency to reconsider their claims.