WASHINGTON — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is committed to ensuring every National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholder who filed a claim as a result of Hurricane Sandy receives every dollar they are due under their policy. The NFIP established a process for Hurricane Sandy survivors who feel they were underpaid to have their claims reviewed. Where warranted, additional payments will be made to those policyholders.
On May 18, FEMA began mailing letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders who filed claims resulting from Hurricane Sandy, offering them an opportunity to have their files reviewed. While extensions may be granted on a case by case basis, FEMA set a Sept. 15, 2015 deadline for policyholders to begin the intake process by either phoning the call center and speaking to a claims review specialist or downloading the claims review request form from the website and submitting it via email or by fax. In the coming weeks, FEMA will use a number of communications channels to remind the all 142,000 policyholders of the Fall deadline.
Establishing this review is just one step in FEMA’s effort to improve the program. The Sandy claims review process is intended to be simple, navigable by the policyholder and does not require paid legal assistance. Additionally, there are several nonprofit service providers ready to offer free advice and answer questions policyholders may have. A list of these advocacy groups can be found on the claims review website at www.fema.gov/sandyclaims
To be eligible for the review, policyholders must have experienced flood damage between Oct. 27, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012, as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 1-866-337-4262 or go online to www.fema.gov/sandyclaims to download a form requesting a review. The downloaded form may be filled out and emailed to FEMAfirstname.lastname@example.org to start the review process.
FEMA will request the policyholder’s claim file from their insurance company and forward it to the NFIP review office within two business days. Files will be assigned to a highly qualified, NFIP-certified adjuster who will serve as a caseworker for the insured. Caseworkers will contact policyholders to guide them through the process. The caseworker will make a recommendation after a thorough review of the claim file and any new information provided. If the policyholder does not agree with the recommendation, the policyholder will have the opportunity to obtain an additional review of the file by a third party neutral. The entire process should take less than 90 days.
For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability using 711 or VRS, please call 866-337-4262. For individuals using a TTY, please call 800-462-7585 to begin the review process. Before contacting the claim center, policyholders are asked to have their flood insurance carrier name and policy number at hand.
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