Friday, June 5, 2015

FEMA begins review of Sandy Flood Claims

Underpaid Sandy Flood Claims to be Reviewed by Independent Arbitrator

Underpaid Sandy Flood Claims to be Reviewed by Independent Arbitrator

The Federal Emergency Management Agency last week announced that, as part of the process to reform National Flood Insurance Program claims and appeals procedures, it has begun to review Superstorm Sandy claims.
According to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), underpaid flood insurance claims will be reviewed by an independent arbitrator.
FEMA has opened the Sandy claims review process and began mailing letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders, offering them an opportunity to have their claims from the 2012 storm audited. In the process, policyholders who have not pursued litigation or already received the maximum amount under their plan will have an opportunity to have their files reviewed. FEMA will contact policyholders and explain how to request this review.
“Flood insurance issues arising from [Superstorm] Sandy are of great concern to FEMA,” said former Deputy Associate Administrator for Federal Insurance Brad Kieserman, who announced this week that he is leaving FEMA for a position with the Red Cross. “We are committed to administering a program that is survivor-centric and helps policyholders recover from flooding in a fair, transparent, and expeditious way.”
In March, following a meeting with Schumer and Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), FEMA officials agreed to reopen and review every flood insurance claim—approximately 144,000—filed by Superstorm Sandy victims, and not limit corrective action to just the 2,200 currently in litigation.
The development came weeks after the beleaguered agency admitted to its role in a fraud scandal, detailing how NFIP may have deceived thousands of property owners out of millions in insurance funds.
Schumer noted that “FEMA acknowledged its failure to oversee a flood insurance program that cheated Superstorm Sandy victims out of much-needed funding to rebuild their homes and get their lives back on track,” adding that the agency “also made clear that it plans to hold accountable all those who were involved in the program that may have facilitated or fostered this fraudulent behavior.”
Policyholders who incurred losses from Sandy from Oct. 27, 2012, through Nov. 6, 2012, and want their claim reviewed may contact FEMA by: calling (866) 337-4262; email by downloading an application online at and submitting it to; fax by downloading an application online and submitting it to (202) 646-7970. For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability using 711 or VRS, call (866) 337-4262. For individuals using a TTY, please call (800) 462-7585.

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