The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it strongly encourages National Flood Insurance Program policyholders seeking Superstorm Sandy-related payment reviews to submit them by Sept. 15, but will consider all requests that come in.
Agency spokesman Rafael Lemaitre said on Aug. 14 that the agency will consider requests even if they come in after the Sept. 15 deadline.
New Jersey’s congressional delegation sent a letter to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Aug. 13 calling for a three-month extension. Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur didn’t sign the letter, but a spokeswoman says that was due to a “staff oversight” and MacArthur supports it.
FEMA has sent letters to approximately 142,000 NFIP policyholders who filed claims resulting from Sandy, offering them an opportunity to have their files reviewed. FEMA set a Sept. 15, 2015 deadline for policyholders to request a review.
To date, about 10,000 policyholders have had their claims deemed eligible for a review and have entered the process, FEMA said, adding that the overall number of policyholders who asked FEMA to review their claim files is a little higher than 10,000. Additional payments will be made to policyholders when warranted.
In addition, FEMA announced on Aug. 10 that the first payments are now going out to policyholders taking part in the review. “A handful of payments have already been made, and we hope that milestone in the process will encourage others to enter the claims review,” a FEMA spokesperson told Insurance Journal.
To be eligible for the review, policyholders must have experienced flood damage between Oct. 27, 2012 and Nov. 6, 2012 as a result of Sandy. FEMA said its claims review process is intended to be simple for the policyholder and does not require paid legal assistance.
FEMA also advised that there are several nonprofit service providers that are available to offer free advice and answer questions policyholders may have. A list of these advocacy groups can be found on the claims review website at www.fema.gov/advocacy-groups-and-services-referral-list.
Policyholders can call the NFIP’s Hurricane Sandy claims center at 866-337-4262 to request a review. Alternately, policyholders can go online to www.fema.gov/hurricane-sandy-nfip-claims to download a form requesting a review. The downloaded form may be filled out and emailed to FEMAfirstname.lastname@example.org to start the review process.
Editor’s Note: The Associated Press contributed to this report. The article has been updated to include FEMA’s comment that the agency would consider review requests even if they come in after Sept. 15.
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