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.

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Superstorm Sandy
8:23 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Feds Prepared To Reopen All Superstorm Sandy Insurance Claims

A worker shovels muck out of a home in Longport, N.J., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. Federal regulators say homeowners will be able to challenge insurance payouts they believe shortchanged them.
Credit Patrick Semansky/AP

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it is prepared to reopen all 144,000 insurance claims that resulted from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

The move comes after months of questions over whether insurance companies contracted by the National Flood Insurance Program fraudulently altered engineering reports.

After thousands of homeowners said their insurance claims were systematically lowballed, FEMA began negotiations in an attempt to regain the trust of policy holders.

No agreement has yet been signed.

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Superstorm Sandy
12:26 pm
Tue March 10, 2015

FEMA Increases Oversight Over Flood Insurers

Cars lifted by floodwater are mired in several feet of sand in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, in Long Beach, N.Y. Lawyers representing about 1,800 homeowners are trying to prove that some engineering firms hired to inspect the damage issued bogus reports that led reduced insurance payouts.
Credit AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said Monday it's boosting its oversight of the private insurance companies contracted by the National Flood Insurance Program.

FEMA manages the flood program, which allows people to buy flood insurance from the federal government. The agency hires private insurance companies to process claims and payouts in the flood program.  The insurance companies hire engineering firms to survey damage, and adjusting firms to calculate how much it will cost to repair the damage. 

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FEMA to help those who didn't sue
12:35 am
Thu March 5, 2015

FEMA Will Reopen Up To 15,000 Sandy Claims

Robert Connolly, left, embraces his wife Laura as they survey the remains of the home owned by her parents that burned to the ground in the Breezy Point section of New York, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. More than 50 homes were destroyed in the fire which swept through the oceanfront community during superstorm Sandy. At right is their son, Kyle.
Credit AP /Mark Lennihan

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday it will reopen as many as 15,000 insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy. The announcement comes after two weeks of negotiations with homeowners who say fraudulent engineering reports shortchanged them out of tens of thousands of dollars.

It was happenstance that a handful of homeowners discovered the damage estimates to their homes were based on forged engineering reports. During litigation, lawyers said they uncovered thousands more questionable reports.

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"most don't even know they were shortchanged"
9:46 pm
Tue March 3, 2015

FEMA Settles 160 Superstorm Sandy Claims, But 200 More Surface

People wade and paddle down a flooded street as Hurricane Sandy approaches, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in Lindenhurst, N.Y.
Credit AP Photo/Jason DeCrow

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has tentatively settled insurance claims with 160 Superstorm Sandy victims, who allege engineering firms altered damage estimates. Meanwhile, lawyers say roughly 200 new policyholders say their reports were also changed.

FEMA manages the National Flood Insurance Program which, allows people to buy flood insurance from the federal government.

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Victims want another $3B
11:32 pm
Sun March 1, 2015

Talks Stall Between Superstorm Sandy Victims And FEMA

Investigators from the New York state attorney general's office remove boxes of documents seized from a search warrant at the Long Island offices of GEB HiRise in Uniondale, N.Y., on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015. The company has been accused in civil lawsuits of submitting bogus inspection reports involving homes damaged in Superstorm Sandy.
Credit AP Photo/Frank Eltman

Negotiators for Superstorm Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey said talks with the Federal Emergency Management Agency have stalled.

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