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Christie, Schumer Blast NFIP, WYOs for Delays in Processing Sandy NFIP Claims

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coming under heavy fire for its handling of Superstorm Sandy flood claims in New York and New Jersey...
February 21, 2013

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coming under heavy fire for its handling of Superstorm Sandy flood claims in New York and New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) contend that, in many cases, federal-disaster-relief dollars are being held up due to a delay in processing flood claims.

A FEMA spokesperson told the National Underwriter that of the more than 141,000 claims that have been filed, more than 60 percent have been closed. But Gov. Christie alleged only 30 percent of flood claims have been closed. Insurance Journal, citing FEMA statistics, published by-carrier close rates, showing they range from 94 percent to 39 percent, with most over 50 percent. FEMA officials say they have tried to speed the claims process by giving insurers servicing flood policies additional flexibility to make partial payments.

Meanwhile, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has sent letters to banks and mortgage servicers asking that they use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of funds. “Families need to be able to return to their homes and the State economy, which took a hit from Superstorm Sandy, needs the boost from spending on repairs. “After insurance companies have sent homeowners checks to pay for repairs, the money should not be sitting with the bank because of red tape,” Governor Cuomo said. “Banks need to use maximum discretion to get money into homeowners’ hands as quickly as possible.” – more

Banks Delaying Insurance Payments on Superstorm Sandy (WRIN.tv 2/20/13)

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