In early March, 60 Minutes, America’s oldest and most-watched television news magazine, filed a report entitled, “The Storm After The Storm.” Correspondent Sharyn Alfonsi investigated allegations that thousands of homeowners were denied flood insurance claims as a result of the damage brought on by Superstorm Sandy in the fall of 2012.
Now, two-and-a-half years later, we are finding out that thousands of claims still have not been resolved. Even worse, many of the homeowners who suffered losses have been completely cheated out of their claims. How? According to 60 Minutes, “There is evidence that many homeowners were victims of what appears to be wide-scale fraud where original damage reports were later changed to make it look like the damage wasn’t as bad.”
With a damage estimate of more than $60 billion, Superstorm Sandy was about to drain the bank accounts of quite a few insurance companies—insurance companies providing insurance for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). And, these companies are overseen by FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency. It doesn’t take an expert to see that with that amount of damage sustained across the coastal towns of New Jersey, New York and beyond, these homeowners were in for another lengthy storm.
Less than two weeks after the 60 Minutes report, Senators Gillibrand and Schumer of New York and Menendez and Booker of New Jersey called for oversight hearings. As a result, FEMA announced it would re-open and review all 144,000 Superstorm Sandy claims—not just the 2,200 claims that are currently in litigation. This is good news for the homeowners who have suffered losses and have had to spend the last two-and-a-half-years fighting for what was rightfully theirs.
We cannot stress enough the importance of hiring your own expert—a Public Adjuster. We settled several claims related to Superstorm Sandy and know first-hand the extent of the damage and how important it was to present detailed evidence and back it up with photos, video and our own experts. We regularly deal with these issues and know how to successfully settle with the insurance companies. When you are represented by a Public Adjuster, you have someone in your corner fighting for what is rightfully yours.