U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez feels that victims of Superstorm Sandy were shortchanged by insurers.
According to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (New Jersey), the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) should be conducting an investigation into allegations that are being made that flood insurance companies that have been handling the flooding damage claims from Superstorm Sandy are manipulating the situation in order to shortchange policyholders.
Senator Menendez held a press conference from his office in Newark, New Jersey.
At the press conference, Senator Menendez called for Craig Fugate, the FEMA Administrator, to step in and take immediate action with regards to this situation. This comes on the heels of a ruling made by a federal judge in New York, who determined that there was evidence that flood insurance company assessors were altering their reports so that those insurers would be required to pay a smaller amount to policyholders who were victims of Sandy and who had made claims.
The judge estimated that there were thousands of flood insurance policyholders who could have been affected by the altered reports.
The judge feels that thousands of homeowners could be impacted by these altered reports by the assessors, and that the party that is responsible for this situation, when all is said and done, is FEMA.
Now, Menendez has stated at his press conference that “They survived the wind, the rain, the storm surge, only to face another nightmare: a flood insurance claim process that threatened to take what the storm had not.”
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Officials from FEMA were not able to respond in time for the writing of this article.
The issue found its way into the spotlight following the New York case in which a federal Magistrate judge pointed a finger at an engineering company that had been hired by an insurance company to inspect the home of policyholders Larry Raisfeld and Deborah Raimey, in Long Beach, New York. Their home had experienced damage from the 2012 super storm.
The judge found that the company had rewritten a report, in secret. That report was the one that described the damage to the Long Beach home, determining that it was unlivable. The report that was presented by the Wright National Flood Insurance Company determine that the damage to the home was the result of soil movement beneath the home that had been occurring over a long period of time, causing the claim to be denied.