Hurricane Sandy Flood Insurance Claims Review Begins
The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has begun a review of claims filed by policyholders affected by Hurricane Sandy. The review is part of a broad process to reform NFIP claims and appeals procedures.
FEMA is committed to administering a program that is survivor-centric and helps policyholders recover from flooding in a fair, transparent, and expeditious way. Flood insurance is a vital service that protects Americans from the most common and costly disaster we face, and those who purchase insurance must be able to count on it being there when it is needed to help rebuild their lives.
A letter will be sent to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders who filed flood insurance claims. Policyholders who incurred losses from Hurricane Sandy from Oct. 27, 2012, through Nov. 6, 2012, and want their claim reviewed may contact FEMA by:
Policyholders will have 90 days from receipt of the letter to make contact with FEMA. Policyholders should provide the address of the insured property and the name of the policyholder. They will answer questions to determine whether they qualify for a review.
Policyholders who qualify for review will be contacted by a highly skilled, NFIP-certified adjuster who will serve as caseworker for the insured. Caseworkers will give policyholders their phone number and email address and will work closely with policyholders throughout the entire process. Any questions the policyholder has during the process will be fully explained by the caseworker. Property visits may be conducted if applicable. The review is of no cost to policyholders. FEMA will not request information such as a Social Security Number, bank account, or credit card.
The review process will take less than 90 days for most policyholders. If the final review supports additional payment under the policy, then their insurance carrier will issue a check for the additional funds.
If a policyholder does not agree with the outcome of the caseworker review, the policyholder will have the opportunity to request that a third party neutral talk with them and review the file to help resolve the claim.
As FEMA reviews Hurricane Sandy claim files, the agency will also begin overhauling the claims and appeal process and improving the customer experience. FEMA’s goals are excellent customer experience, responsiveness, transparency, low risk of waste, fraud and abuse, and continuous improvement.
FEMA will continue to work closely with Congress, federal, tribal, state, local, and community officials to ensure policyholders are paid every dollar to which they are entitled and to improve the flood insurance program going forward.