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.
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.
Homeowners and elected officials have complained that the taxpayer-funded National Flood Insurance Program gives an incentive to private insurance companies to lowball flood claims by penalizing for overpayments, not underpayments.
FEMA has vowed to create a task force to fix this.
Since January, shoreline property owners in Connecticut have been facing a new financial reality. In addition to the repair bills many are still paying after the storms of 2011 and 2012, including Irene and Sandy, thousands are now facing considerably higher flood insurance bills. The Connecticut Mirror’s Jan Ellen Spiegel reports this increased cost of living on the coast has some worried it will become even more exclusive than it already is.