Superstorm Sandy

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

Pages