Fairfield Welcomes FEMA Review of Superstorm Sandy Claims - NBC Connecticut

Fairfield Welcomes FEMA Review of Superstorm Sandy Claims

FEMA Sets Up Review Process for Sandy Claims

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have agreed to provide Sandy victims who think their insurance claims were not fairly paid out a chance for a review. (Published Thursday, March 12, 2015)

Two and a half years after Superstorm Sandy, some homeowners are still waiting for money, and others didn't receive the amount they were expecting, according to Fairfield First Selectman Mike Tetreau.

"Part of the issue is, in the flood insurance payouts, the underwriters came through. On one hand, they came through pretty quickly. On the other hand, almost nobody got as much as they were anticipating," Tetreau said. "This is Fairfield County, it's not Louisiana, it's not Mississippi. This one-size-fits-all claim doesn't help up here."

FEMA will review 144,000 Sandy claims in light of allegations that insurance companies in New York and New Jersey fraudulently put in claims that were too low.

The insurance companies have denied the allegations and approximately 2,000 lawsuits have been filed.

Elected leaders in Connecticut said they aren't aware of any fraud here, but they welcome a review.

“Everybody I've talked to, they felt they were underpaid in this. So I don't want to suggest there's fraud involved, I don't want to suggest there's a conspiracy involved, but I am thrilled that FEMA is coming back and looking at that,” said Tetreau.

Tetreau also said he's working with the congressional delegation and the attorney general's office to make sure all claims in Fairfield were handled correctly.

"A lot of people are still caught in what I'll call the financial dilemma: 'I know what my payout is from the insurance company; it's not enough to rebuild. What do I do – do I sell it at a loss? I can't move into my house; what do I do next?'" he said.

FEMA said it will not systematically review claims, and the burden falls on policyholders to submit their claims for review.

The agency will be contacting policyholders within the next few weeks to instruct them on how to submit their claims.
 

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