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New York Senator Urges FEMA to Ramp up Resources to Handle the Surge of Incoming Flood Cases

New York Senator Urges FEMA to Ramp up Resources to Handle the Surge of Incoming Flood Cases

Last week I read an article that U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and property casualty insurers who administer FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to ramp up the resources at their disposal to handle the surge of incoming flood claims.  At first I was happy to learn that elected officials were finally taking notice that thousands of insureds in New York and New Jersey – in places like Ocean County, Monmouth County, Atlantic County, Breezy Point, Long Island, and New York City – still need help with their flood insurance claims as a result of Hurricane Sandy.  Finally, government was recognizing that the deadline to file a Proof of Loss was quickly approaching and that thousands of Hurricane Sandy victims that continue to submit supplemental claims would be getting help. 

Unfortunately for Hurricane Sandy victims, the New York Senator was urging FEMA and property casualty insurers who administer FEMA’s NFIP to ramp up the resources to handle the surge of incoming flood and other insurance claims for the state’s Capital Region homeowners impacted by the June 2013 torrential rains and flash floods that caused excessive damage to homes and small businesses.  Senator Schumer said that a quick and fair review of insurance claims will allow the rebuilding process to move forward quickly and will ensure that those in New York’s Montgomery and Warren Counties get back on their feet sooner, but warned that past experience (including in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy) shows that insurers are often not prepared to handle surges in claims.  In his letter Senator Schumer urged FEMA and the insurers to work together to ensure that there will be enough claims adjusters on the ground to handle the influx of claims.

This past week I received two telephone calls from potential clients looking for help related to Hurricane Irene (2011) and dozens more related to Hurricane Sandy (2012).  The Proof of Loss deadline is quickly approaching for Hurricane Sandy claims.  If those that are still fighting with their flood insurance carrier miss that deadline, they may be precluded from bringing a lawsuit and receiving additional recovery.  Nine months have passed since Superstorm Sandy.  Time is running out for those that have not been fully paid by their insurance companies.  

About the Author: Christopher W. Gerold is an attorney in Wolff & Samson’s Disaster Recovery Claims Group.  Chris represents homeowners and businesses with their Sandy related insurance claims with a special focus on flood insurance.  For more information on flood insurance and ways Wolff & Samson can help you with your flood insurance claim, please contact Chris at (973) 530-2061.