RALEIGH, N.C. -- At the request of Gov. Beverly Perdue and Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin, the National Flood Insurance Program will reinspect some flood insurance claims resulting from Hurricane Irene in North Carolina. The inspections will begin immediately.
In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is asking policy holders who have questions or concerns about their claims to call a special toll-free flood insurance hotline: 855-336-2002. Specialists will take information; policy holders can expect a response from their insurance company within
“Helping the families, businesses and farmers who suffered damage from Hurricane Irene is critically important,” Gov. Perdue said. “We appreciate our federal partners responding to our requests and the needs of our communities. We will continue to push for every possible bit of assistance from the federal government.”
After a disaster, the flood insurance program routinely sends general adjusters to reexamine a random sampling of claims as a quality control measure. This effort will be expanded in North Carolina for Hurricane Irene flood claims.
The flood insurance claims hotline, which has been operating for several weeks, is staffed by specialists who answer questions and help policy holders resolve issues with their insurance companies. To expedite the process, when policy holders call they should have the name of their insurance company, their name as it appears on the policy, the policy number and, if possible, the name of the adjuster. The hotline operates 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Last Friday, Bob Etheridge, the Governor’s Advisor for Hurricane Irene Recovery, and Goodwin requested help from FEMA’s flood insurance claims program director. In a letter to FEMA, Etheridge and Goodwin asked that claims adjusters reevaluate the initial inspections and follow up on inspections that were scheduled but not completed.
“It is important for these claims to be evaluated properly and paid as quickly as possible so that these survivors can continue to rebuild their lives,” the letter said.
This morning, Jim Sadler, director of claims for FEMA’s flood insurance program, and Denny Kuhns, FEMA’s division director of risk insurance, met in Raleigh with Etheridge, Goodwin, Mark Edwards, assistant insurance commissioner, Mike Bolch, federal coordinating officer for FEMA, and Doug Hoell, state emergency management director. The announcement of the reinspections and the hotline was made after the meeting.
In two months, more than 9,000 flood claims have been filed with insurance companies and more than $56 million already has been paid on claims, including $8 million in advanced payments.
The reinspections will involve only flood insurance claims, not other programs involved in the federal recovery effort.
Disaster recovery assistance is available without regard to race, color, religion, nationality, sex, age, disability, English proficiency or economic status. If you or someone you know has been discriminated against, call FEMA toll-free at 800-621-FEMA (3362). For TTY call 800-462-7585.
FEMA’s temporary housing assistance and grants for public transportation expenses, medical and dental expenses, and funeral and burial expenses do not require individuals to apply for an SBA loan. However, applicants who receive SBA loan applications must submit them to SBA loan officers to be eligible for assistance that covers personal property, vehicle repair or replacement, and moving and storage expenses.
FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards.