FEMA has announced that it will be extending the deadline for flood insurance claims related to Hurricane Irene to January 23, 2012. The extension will affect North Carolina, New York and 12 other states that were impacted by the hurricane in late August. FEMA has hopes that the extension will afford those affected by the storm with ample time to file claims and work with their insurance companies. Typically, insurers require proof of loss within 60 days of a natural disaster, but FEMA claims that victims of Irene are due more time.
Though Hurricane Irene was only a Category 1 storm when it made landfall, the storm went on to cause more than $10 billion in damage to homes and vehicles as well as 47 deaths. Strong winds reaped a terrible toll, but flooding caused the majority of the damage, especially in New York. The original deadline for claims was scheduled for this week, but FEMA decided to push the date back further after reviewing the extent of the damage from the storm.
The claims coming from those affected by the storm have proven to be a delicate issue, as much of the damage was caused by flooding. The majority of homeowner’s do not have flood insurance and those that do get their coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is plagued with debt. Insurers have been granted access to emergency funds in the wake of the storm to help mitigate the massive cost of Hurricane Irene.