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Hurricane Sandy Victims Still Waiting on NFIP Payments

According to an article published by Newsday, thousands of Americans in the Northeast are still trying to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Sandy ripped through much of the Northeast.

Reportedly, thousands of people are still waiting for final insurance settlements, leaving them struggling to pay contractors and frustrated at having half-gutted homes more than three months after being flooded.

Reportedly, many homeowners have been paying premiums for years or even decades to the federal National Flood Insurance Program. According to FEMA, nearly half of all New Yorkers who filed hurricane claims have still not been paid in full. Many critics of the process feel that the government has handed out aid to individuals who did not have insurance before those who did.

According to FEMA, which runs the flood insurance program, they are working as quickly as possible. FEMA says that processing the claim is very labor intensive and now that they have accessed most of the damage the process should speed up.

The most recent statistics show FEMA had settled 54 percent of the roughly 56,000 flood claims filed in New York State, paying an average of $42,000 per household. Many of the remaining 26,000 homes and businesses statewide have received partial payments, often less than $30,000.

According to the article, there are many reasons why it takes longer to settle insurance claims than to provide disaster aid. Insurance policies are legal contracts which mean adjusters are supposed to meticulously calculate damages, and then review policies to determine what is covered, what’s not and precisely how much homeowners are owed. Reportedly, the entities which participate and carry the policies form a complex network, including contractors and subcontractors. At the top is the National Flood Insurance Program, which hires private companies including Travelers, Allstate and other large insurers who, in turn, hire adjusting companies. Those outfits then hire freelancers to do the adjusting.

View the full article at the following link:

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