The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced a 30-day deadline extension for National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policyholders who are considering requesting Superstorm Sandy-related payment reviews.
The announcement means the initial Sept. 15 deadline has now been formally extended to Oct. 15. The deadline extension was announced just before the expiration of Tuesday’s deadline and after the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that any new flood insurance proceeds up to $20,000 would not be subject to a duplication-of-benefits review or collection for Sandy victims who also received federal disaster assistance from HUD’s grantees — such as New Jersey’s Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation program.
HUD also said families who have received or will receive more than $20,000 in additional flood insurance payments would still have the opportunity to demonstrate the added claim payments address legitimate unmet needs and therefore are not duplicative.
Roy Wright, FEMA’s deputy associate administrator for Insurance and Mitigation, encouraged NFIP policyholders to call FEMA and request a review if they believe their claims were underpaid for any reason. As of Sept. 14, nearly 14,000 policyholders have requested reviews of their Sandy flood insurance claims.
“FEMA remains committed to making sure that every policyholder gets every dollar they are owed under their flood insurance policy,” said Wright. He noted that already, thousands of policyholders have contacted FEMA to have their claims reviewed and that FEMA has begun providing funds to those who were due additional payments on their claim.
“We are hopeful that HUD’s action to provide relief to the vast majority of those who are concerned about potential duplicative benefits will encourage even more policyholders who may have been initially reluctant to enter the process to do so,” said Wright. “We hope by extending the deadline we are addressing any remaining concerns some may have about entering the claims review process.”
“The review process we have established is designed to be simple, fair, and accessible without paid legal assistance,” he said. “FEMA is dead set on restoring trust in this important program and no one should be discouraged from having their claim reviewed.”
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