Md. Commissioner Advises Isabel Victims of Options

Maryland Insurance Commissioner Alfred Redmer, Jr. has sent a letter to homeowners affected by Hurricane Isabel to inform them of their options of participating in a class action lawsuit and a demand letter concerning their flood insurance claims.

“I know that some of you who sustained damage as a result of Hurricane Isabel have ongoing concerns regarding the National Flood Insurance Program and the amount that you received as payment on your claim,” Redmer stated in his letter. ” As you are aware, despite the fact the Maryland Insurance Administration lacks jurisdiction over the federal flood program, the MIA initiated a series of measures designed to assist those affected by Isabel with their respective claims. In addition, we advocated to the NFIP on your behalf, worked with many of you throughout the re-evaluation process, and made recommendations to the NFIP and federal officials regarding changes I believe are necessary to better serve you.”

He further informed them that In addition to contacting their federal elected representatives with their problems over the flood insurance program, citizens also have the option to join the class action litigation, Howell et al v. State Farm Insurance Companies et al (Case number 1:04-ev-01494-BEL). But participation in this action ends soon, so he urged residents to act quickly to contact Andrew Friedman, of Cohen Milstein, Hausfield, and Toll, the lead plaintiffs attorney.

In addition to the lawsuit, Redmer advised that a demand letter on behalf of 140 individuals and families from seven states has been issued by the law firm of Freeman and Freeman of Rockville, Md. The goal of this demand letter is to “help those affected by Isabel to recover benefits they believe are owed under their national flood insurance policies,” he stated. He urged those who wish to be included in the demand letter to register online at www.femainfo.us/demand.

“The purpose of my correspondence is not to advise you as to whether you should join the class action suit or register as part of the demand letter. Doing either is a decision you must make based upon your particular circumstances. I just wanted to take this opportunity to advise you of all available options in order that you may better make an informed decision,” Redmer added.