Charles Lane

Senior reporter for Long Island

Charles is a radio reporter, story teller, Excel ninja, database grasshopper, and loves to FOIL records. He's worked for NPR, Deutche Welle, Radio Netherlands, Soundprint, Penthouse, the Religion News Service, and the Catholic World Report.  He's won three SPJ Public Service Awards, a National Murrow, and was a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.  He once did 3Gs in a stunt plane, ran the Tough Mudder, and dove 40 meters on a single breath.  Charles is extraordinarily friendly so don't hesitate to contact.


Superstorm Sandy
12:33 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

FEMA Outlines Flood Insurance Reforms

People stand next to a house that collapsed during Superstorm Sandy in East Haven, Conn. on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.
Credit AP Photo/Jessica Hill

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun revealing details on how it will reform the National Flood Insurance Program.

FEMA oversees the program, which allows people to buy flood insurance from the federal government.  The agency contracts private insurance companies to process claims and payouts through the program.

FEMA's talk of reform follows weeks of criticism that the private insurance companies who administer the program underpaid homeowners following Superstorm Sandy.

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Superstorm Sandy
11:29 am
Tue March 17, 2015

FEMA Seeks Thousands of Insurance Records

Boats lie piled up as people work to secure a fuel dock in the wake of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in West Babylon, N.Y.
Credit AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is beginning its probe into the allegedly lowballed Superstorm Sandy claims by asking flood insurance companies to turn over thousands of records by the end of the week. The data request includes the name of the engineering company and the amount of the damage that was not included in the final payout.

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Superstorm Sandy
12:15 am
Tue March 17, 2015

FEMA's Appeals Process Favored Insurance Companies Almost Every Time

Doug Quinn's ranch house in Toms River, N.J., was heavily damaged by flooding during Hurricane Sandy. His insurance company gave him half the value of his home and when he appealed, FEMA sided with the insurance company.
Credit Hansi Lo Wang/NPR

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has taken the unprecedented step of reopening all Superstorm Sandy flood claims because thousands of homeowners said insurance companies intentionally lowballed damage estimates.

Similar allegations surfaced in 2004 after Hurricane Isabel struck the mid-Atlantic. To answer critics then, FEMA formalized an appeals process.

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Commerzbank fined
3:23 pm
Mon March 16, 2015

NY Moves To Be A 'Laboratory' Of Financial Regulation

Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Credit AP Photo/Mike Groll

New York's top bank regulator wants to lead the federal government in aggressively cracking down on errant corporations.

Last week the New York Department of Financial Services fined the German Commerzbank $1.4 billion last week, while also requiring the company fire several employees.

"We think New York state can become a real laboratory of democracy when it comes to financial regulation," Ben Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said last week before University of Albany business students.

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Superstorm Sandy
6:29 pm
Fri March 13, 2015

Lawsuit: Insurance Company Didn't Pay Sales Tax On Superstorm Sandy Claims

A boat lies toppled between two flooded houses in Lindenhurst, N.Y., in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012.
Credit AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

Lawyers for Superstorm Sandy victims filed another class-action lawsuit Friday against an insurance company, alleging adjusters miscalculated sales tax and then tried to hide their mistake.

Dozens of insurance companies are already accused of shortchanging Sandy Victims out of billions of dollars through the National Flood Insurance Program.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs the program, which allows people to buy flood insurance from the federal government. FEMA contracts private insurance companies to process claims and payouts.

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