Open the Floodgates - FEMA Set to Reopen Superstorm Sandy Claims

Open the Floodgates - FEMA Set to Reopen Superstorm Sandy Claims

After a scathing report about engineering fraud on 60 Minutes, it looks like FEMA is going to allow policyholders the ability to reopen all Superstorm Sandy insurance claims per a NPR report. As a licensed public insurance adjuster who represents policyholders and handled Sandy flood claims, it would be helpful to understood that the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) sets their own very rigorous and draconian adjusting practice that have lead to the situation we have here. As an example, NFIP will not allow for any discussion on the scope of the loss other than what their adjusters says was flood damaged. If there is a disagreement, then the dispute resolution process in the flood policy called appraisal cannot be used to determine scope issues, only price.

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    The Sandy Saga Continues

    The Sandy Saga Continues

    By Rick Tutwiler Public Adjuster

    If Jim Cantore says, “It Can Happen Tomorrow” you better believe him!  After naming New York City as one of the most vulnerable cities to be hit by a hurricane, I decided to take the New York State Public Adjuster exam back in 2007 knowing full well that a hurricane might hit that area sometime in my lifetime.  After all, hurricane whirlwinds always do tend to curve up into the Northern Atlantic between the months of June through November.  Historically, in 1933 there was an all-time record of twenty.  But the greatest weather disaster to ever hit the northern territories was in the form of a Category 3 Hurricane.  On September 21, 1938i, Long Island, New York and New England were forever changed by what became known as the Long Island Express.

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    Sandy Flood Claims Denied – Public Adjuster Wins Reversal 2 Years Later

    Sandy Flood Claims Denied – Public Adjuster Wins Reversal 2 Years Later

    Two years ago, on October 29, 2012 Super Storm Sandy came ashore just south of New York City causing significant flood damage to many buildings in the Financial District and in Battery Park City, New York.  Our firm was on the ground within 3 days post-storm, helping people prepare to file their Sandy insurance claims. We ended up opening an office in the area and stayed a good 6 months. Many of these high-end residential condominium buildings overlook the New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty, and skylines. Tutwiler & Associates Public Adjusters were retained to represent one of these tower communities.

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    FEMA Flood Extension for Superstorm Sandy Policyholders Reflects Complexity of Proof of Loss Filing

    Since October of 2013 our office has been cranking out claim packages for all of our clients so they fully comply with the terms and conditions of their flood policies.  One of those tasks is the filing of the Proof of Loss, which to the layman can be as complex as building a house with no construction experience.  

    For a third time, FEMA has extended the deadline for filing Superstorm Sandy NFIP flood policy claims, 6 months to October 29, 2014. This is allowing policyholders who have supplemental claims or who have had repairs delayed due to code issues or other situations to gather the proper documentation.

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    Flood Season & Helping the Policyholder with their Insurance Claim

    Well it’s that time of year again.  No, not tax time.  All the flood adjusters from all over the country are attending the Federally-mandated annual flood certification training.  Over the course of several months, flood adjusters attend training workshops from coast to coast in order to receive certification to adjust flood claims.  No adjusters, even seasoned adjusters with years of experience, can adjust flood claims without having gone through the eight-hour long course each and every year in order to keep their flood certification status active.

     

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    Flood Insurance Premiums Crisis? For Some a Full Lift May be an Option!

    Superstorm Sandy victims and all coastal business and homeowners facing enormous rate hikes due to the recent NFIP overhaul and the lack of action in the federal government to make things right might consider lifting their home out of the flood zone. This article gives Facing Flood Insurance Crisis, You Could Lift Your Home from the Herald Tribune gives a very thorough review of the pro’s and con’s. Just keep in mind that building code enforcement can vary greatly from county to county so make sure you understand the building code compliance issues you will face if you embark on this course of action.   

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    New Problems for Superstorm Sandy Homeowners

    New Problems for Superstorm Sandy Homeowners

    Here’s an interesting video that explains how the polar vortex is impacting Superstorm Sandy victims and others in the Northeast. While the media may have forgotten about the Sandy devastation, we continue to try and help policyholders recover and negotiate claim settlements. Now we are dealing with frozen pipes, roof leaks and other winter damage. If you have questions regarding any property insurance claim related issues please call 800.321.4488 or contact us to submit a question to one of our public adjuster or insurance claim experts.  http://www.weather.com/video/the-arctic-and-superstorm-sandy-44303

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    Flood Insurance Issues Persist for Sandy Victims

    This article from the NY Times, Sandy Victims Insurance Headaches Persist points out the rules and regulations are stacked against the policyholder. The National Flood Insurance Program is a terrible and troubled insurance scheme. With 41 years on the clock dealing with the misery of others at their time of loss, I think it’s time to reform or eliminate this program with its draconian adjusting rules. Read More

    The Big Freeze, Broken Pipes and Snow… the Way It Was

    While looking for some information in my office library yesterday, I pulled a book from a shelf titled The Policyholder Advisor authored by Eugene R. Anderson, William G. Passannante, and Robert M. Horkovich. These three gentlemen, all attorneys, and at the time of publishing in 2002, shareholders at Anderson Kill & Olick P.C. now Anderson Kill P.C. one of the nation’s leading law firms for policyholders. The book jacket noted that the book is a collection of articles published in the firm’s newsletter, “The Policyholder Advisor.”

    It was a little uncanny when I opened the book, and it opened to page 181 and the chapter title was “Insurance Coverage Available for Property Losses from The Blizzard of 96.” While no two storms are ever the same, there sure are a lot of similarities between the 1996 blizzard and the current polar vortex malaise of 2014; especially when it comes to insurance coverage issues and disputes with insurance carriers.

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    Broken Water Pipes from the Big Freeze “Polar Vortex” What a National Mess!

    Yesterday, I was on a flight to sunny South Florida to meet with a client, and ran into a large loss adjuster who works for one of the major insurance carriers heading the same way. When you meet a fellow adjuster or colleagues who are in the business, usually the first question is to ask if you are busy. This seasoned adjuster side tells me the claims are rolling in from the areas that were affected in the big freeze caused by the “polar vortex” last week. It seems his company is so overwhelmed, that they have staffed call centers with independent adjusters just to handle the call volume.

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