FEMA recently provided us with an update on the SANDY CLAIMS.
Here are some glaring questions that need to be addressed;
1.Why have all the claims not been closed AND paid yet? Roy Wright promised to have all the claims settled and paid 90 days after reopening the claims.
2. Why are attorney represented claims receiving 90% more than homeowner represented claims?
3.Are the last 7,000 claims primarily attorney represented claims? If so, why are they being delayed?
4. NFIP has spent $500 million dollars reviewing these claims, so far. How is allowed to go on? Why is upper management of FEMA and NFIP held accountable? Who is overseeing this process? Why did FEMA’s advocate office not mention one word of this debacle?
5. It’s almost 5 years after Superstorm Sandy. When will all the claims be settled and paid in full?
If you are still waiting to get paid on your Sandy Claim please call your Senators and Congressmen. Let them know you have waited long enough. You want to get compensated accordingly and in a timely fashion.
(The statistics below were provided by FEMA to Congressman MacArthur’s office this past week.)
While both bills have some good points, they both need additional work in committee.
Here are some of the issues we have concerns with:
5 YEAR RENEWAL PERIOD – The NFIP program has had many problems in the last decade. Until this program is fixed we will only support a 5 year renewal period.
DEBT FORGIVENESS – Between FEMA’s high adminstrative costs, ACoE levee failure during Katrina and the 5 billion paid in interest. We strongly urge the 24.5 Billion debt to be forgiven.
POLICYHOLDER PROTECTION – A) POL (Proof of Loss) must be changed to notice of claim only. B) No immunity for Fraud, for either NFIP Employees, FEMA Employees and Contractors. C) WYO’s and Private Flood Companies must adhere to State Laws and not Federal Laws. D) NFIP should not pay claims attorney fees for WYO’s. E) Judicial Review – Reforms the Statute of Limitations for instituting an action on a claim to not later than 2 years after the date the loss occurred, or 90 days after the claim is denied, whichever is later. F) Simplify the NFIP Claims Appeals Process – Require the claim appeals process to have clear rules, forms, and deadlines to that are communicated to claimants at the time a claim is initially denied in full or in part. G) Gerald Nielsen, esq. (NFIP attorney) must be removed from NFIP / WYO representation / involvement.
PRIVATE FLOOD INSURANCE – No “Cherry Picking”. Private insures must pay same NFIP fees. (Mapping, mitigation, etc…). Private flood insurers should be able to write pre-firm and SRL policies.
MITIGATION – The Cassidy/Gillibrand bill alots $400 million annually to mitigation. While this is a good start. This is not enough. There are 85,000 SRL’s that need mitigation – they have cost the NFIP program $8.3 billion in claims. We suggest SBA/HUD provide low interest rate financing to raise the homes.
AFFORDABILITY – We need concrete legislation that premiums will stay under 1% the value of home. Also detailed explanation on proposed vouchers.
ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance) – The current $30,000 is inadequate. This amount needs to rise to $100,000 to be effective. (What would the cost be?)
ELEVATION CERTIFICATES – Millions of policyholders will need Elevation Certificates. Is there a way to cost effectively purchase them in bulk? Homeowners need a premium credit if they are required to purchase an EC.
FLOOD MAPPING – FEMA needs additional funding to correctly map the country with the latest technology. If the maps are incorrect how can the risk be determined? Flood Mapping funding should not be funded 100% from NFIP Policyholders. The cost should be spread out to whoever uses the maps. Over 18 Federal Agencies, the military, States, counties and cities use the flood maps.
FEMA/NFIP ADVOCATE – There needs to be a true NFIP advocate that is not funded or overseen by FEMA/NFIP. In their latest annual report the advocate did not mention that is cost over $500 million dollars to pay $350 million in Sandy Claims. That as of December 31, 2016 over 10,000 Sandy Survivors have not even settled their claims. 4.5 years after the storm.
EARTH MOVEMENT – Ensures that claims will not be denied using the “earth movement” exclusion when the “earth movement” is caused by a flooding event.
With everyone calling and emailing their congressman and senators with their particular issues, we can either amend these bills or have another bill brought to the congress. Either way, we have to voice our concerns.