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Friday, May 29, 2015
Rallying against FEMA ‘loophole’
(Page 2 of 3)
Anthony Rifilato/Herald
City Council members Eileen Goggin and Fran Adelson, far left, Legislator Dave Denenberg, Michele Mittleman, County Executive Ed Mangano and Legislator Denise Ford denounced the earth-movement exclusion clause in the NFIP program.

“She cannot rebuild because of this ridiculous exception,” Mangano said of Mittleman. “Her family is now forced to live in a one-bedroom apartment. Ten months after Sandy, this exclusion is stopping her from getting back in her home. Unacceptable. We call on FEMA to immediately stop this ridiculous clause.”

Mittleman’s flood insurance coverage, with Fidelity, totaled $180,000, but to date, she said, she has received only half of that. She was told that the home had a pre-existing settling condition, after Fidelity’s engineer’s report noted some cracks in the sidewalk in front of the house after the storm.

Mittleman hired her own engineer, who refuted the report. She submitted her own report in April, but in June, she said, FEMA made a determination that Fidelity was correct, and her claim was denied.

“What the federal government has done is downright fraud,” Mittleman said. “We paid our policies for years. We paid thousands of dollars, and we all know our houses were filled with floodwater. Who are they kidding?”

U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have called on FEMA to change the earth-movement provision, review any denials and pay the claims retroactively. In an Aug. 29 letter to FEMA administrator Craig Fugate, Schumer wrote, “It is extremely troubling that the federal government would use this loophole to deny benefits to homeowners whose homes were destroyed or upended. I understand that many of these denied homeowners obtained engineering reports, at their own expense, substantiating that the structure was compromised due to flooding, not earth movement.”

FEMA has yet to respond to Schumer’s letter. A spokesman for the agency, Dan Watson, told the Herald last month that its top priority is to provide assistance to those in need as quickly as possible, “while also meeting our requirements under the law.” He added that when an insurer denies all or part of a claim, the policyholder may appeal that denial directly to FEMA.

Comments

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Sandeep

Folks with flood insurance do not have earth movement insurance. So they want NFIP/FEMA to pay then to repair their foundations even though they never insured for that event.

But wait only 50% of folks had flood insurance. So why are then not protesting that everyone with a FEMA claim also get paid for earth movement. Also if FEMA pays out for this non-covered event the 50% without flood insurance taxes will go up to pay this claim. Insult to injury. Neighbor with identical foundation damage who never insured for it gets paid, you dont and you then you chip in your taxes to pay for it.

They should protest that everyone including folks without flood insurance get paid for earth movement. If no sandy victim insured against it why should only folks with flood insurance get it.

Also can this be covered in a NYS rising grant. Why beat a dead horse just apply to NYS rising.

Thursday, September 5, 2013 | Report this
dede470

Let me tell you something, people that did not have flood insurance got the $30,000 from FEMA and a SBA loan and returned to their homes. Guess what??? that $30,000 they got was from the people who paid years of flood coverage and now we are the ones not living at home, paying a mortgage on a house that's uninhabitable and paying rent else where. So Mr Sandeep you are probably one of those people that took my money and the other 1000's of families money and are living in your home laughing at the rest us that are homeless. Guess what? Your day is numbered. Cause when the next big flood comes, SURPRISE you are getting nothing, ziltch....cause that hel is going bye bye too buddy. So enjoy your home now.

Sunday, September 15, 2013 | Report this
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