The Federal Emergency Management Agency is going to begin direct negotiations with homeowners.
Homeowners who were victims of the catastrophe that came with Superstorm Sandy will be negotiating directly with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to be able to move ahead toward the resolution of disputes with regards to the compensation settlements.
A written agreement has now been created by FEMA that establishes structures that it can apply to lawsuits.
There are about 2,200 lawsuits that are still awaiting settlement with regards to the compensation that homeowners have received after the damage that they experienced to their properties from Superstorm Sandy. The agreement will be able to provide guidance in order to allow negotiations to move ahead between FEMA, and flood insurance policyholders. It will also make it possible for that agency to instruct private insurance companies that handle its flood coverage program to make the required payments that result from those discussions.
FEMA has stated that this advancement in Superstorm Sandy flood insurance negotiations is critical.
According to a spokesperson for the agency, Rafael Lemaitre, “This is an important development in our work to make sure every policyholder gets every dollar they are owed under their flood insurance policies.” The announcement received high praise from lawmakers in New Jersey. According to Rep. Chris Smith (R-4th Dist.), “The settlement of litigation will allow FEMA to move to the next step and reopen and reexamine all policyholder claims made after Sandy through a new and necessary retrospective claims process.”
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Separate to FEMA’s announcement of the negotiation parameters, the agency also agreed to re-open the claims that were made by any of the other 141,800 policyholders, should they request that FEMA take action to correct their compensation.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) applauded this decision to open up new and far more realistic opportunities for homeowners who were victims of Superstorm Sandy to be able to ensure that they receive their due compensation from their policies. He stated that “While long overdue, I’m pleased that FEMA has taken another step to right their wrongs and provide Sandy victims the money they’ve been entitled to.”