Work with us
Rain Shower,60°
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
State to compensate Sandy victims affected by earth-movement exclusion
Cuomo pledges financial relief for homeowners denied insurance claims due to NFIP provision
By Alexandra Spychalsky
Anthony Rifilato/Herald
Legislator Dave Denenberg, holding microphone, and other local officials joined residents at an August rally in Mineola to protest a provision of the National Flood Insurance Program.

Hurricane Sandy victims whose flood insurance claims were denied due to an “earth movement” provision may soon see financial relief — but many warn that the fight against the provision is far from over.

Last Saturday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state, through its Housing Recovery Program, would fully compensate homeowners whose flood insurance claims for Sandy and Tropical Storms Irene and Lee were denied due to the National Flood Insurance Program’s earth-movement exclusion. The provision states that property loss caused by earth movement — even if it is a direct result of flooding — is not covered.

Many homeowners had their claims denied, and in August an angry group of more than 100 Long Islanders rallied against the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which administers NFIP, with the hope of getting the law changed. Freeport resident and attorney Michele Mittleman, who had created a Facebook page a month earlier called Sandy Victims Fight FEMA, organized the rally, at the Theodore Roosevelt Executive and Legislative Building in Mineola.

Elected officials, including County Executive Ed Mangano, County Legislators Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick) and Denise Ford (R-Long Beach) and Long Beach City Council members Fran Adelson and Eileen Goggin joined residents at the rally, denouncing the earth-movement provision and insisting that their constituents be reimbursed. U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand called on FEMA to do away with the provision, review any denials and pay the claims retroactively. Many even called on President Obama to issue an executive order mandating that FEMA change the policy.

Their complaints were heard in Albany, moving Cuomo to act.


4 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment

Federal subsidized NFIP is history, and now these same Insurance Companies that didn't pay in the first place, want to rape us over the coals!

Now the requirement is that we all make new NFIP applications, submit photo's of the house and spend $600-$800 for Certificates of Elevation.

Did your house move since Sandy? Mine didn't and they wrote me a policy!

They won't tell us how much the policies are.... AND WHERE ARE OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS????

ABSENT as usual!!!!!!

What say yee Mr. Schuner, Ms Gillibrand, and my favorite non-working elected official, Ms. McCarthy!!!!!!!!

It would be nice if one of these elected officials ever really answered and dealt with a constituent complaint without the paperwork they put in place to put you off.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 | Report this

I own a legal two family home in Long beach and have been paying flood insurance for 20 years. I was denied claims as they claim my first floor apt is below grade. Why has it been mandatory to pay for flood insurance when they wont cover the house when the storm did come? I laid out over $80000 in repairs and only received compensation for the boilers and hot water heaters. You do not walk down stairs to reach this apt.

Why isnt this issue being addressed? Long Island homes are built with the split level style. I am furious and out of a lot of money. Additionally the insurance company is requiring me to pay for flood insurance for this year? Why would i pay for insurance that they wont pay me?

Thursday, October 3, 2013 | Report this

It. Is our elected officials that control the policy coverages and exclusions in the flood insurance, policy. It is the same elected officials that passed the law that instructed FEMA to do away with flood insurance premium subsidies and to charge an actuarially sound premium. The Insurance Companies and FEMA are not raping anybody when it comes to the premiums charged. They are only doing what our elected officials told them to do. The issue of coverage or lack thereof for living spaces that are at least partially below ground level was discussed in the 1970s when our elected officials decided to exclude coverage from the flood policy.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 | Report this

Mets6996 -

Explain this away:

Given: Paying for Insurance that won't pay in case of a legitimate claim is against public policy.

Given: Living in a flood plain and having a mortgage demands that you buy NFIP

Given: Those same policies are riddled with "gotcha's" that even the NFIP isn't sure about

Given: When those who filed claims under the policy (the same people who were mandated to buy), either a) they were denied, b) they were given low-ball settlements (and without the ability to finance a law-suit, are stuck) or c) they are still waiting for payments or d) they got the payments but the Banks are holding the money hostage.

Long and short - the insurance industry and especially NFIP isn't worth the premium we pay. The only people who get rich are the officers and shareholders of the insurance companies.

Last item: Our current recession (up from the depression of 2009) is the results of blatant greed of both the insurance industry, the banking industry and lack of regulation by our fine and upstanding government (the same people that has given you and I a shutdown government).

Saturday, October 5, 2013 | Report this
Terms of Use | Advertising | Careers | Contact Us | Community Links © 2016 Richner Communications, Inc.