Hurricane Sandy Victims Receiving Insufficient Funds for Repairs



To add to their woes, some homeowners whose properties were affected by Hurricane Sandy are now finding their flood insurance isn’t sufficient to cover essential repairs. According to the article in AOL Money.com part of the problem is due to errors made by adjusters who were quickly hired after the disaster.

Apparently some policyholders are missing out on tens of thousands of dollars, figures that can make the difference between being able to rebuild. It’s been put down to the loss adjusters lack of experience and lack of knowledge on how a home is constructed which has left some unable to accurately calculate rebuilding costs. Common complaints are that the insurance adjuster didn’t include sales tax in the cost of repairing the home, or that they failed to take into account lots of small items that soon add up to a considerable sum of money.

© Leonard Zhukovsky - Fotolia.com

© Leonard Zhukovsky – Fotolia.com

Not surprisingly insurance companies are disputing the fact that some homeowners have been left out of pocket. According to them most of their loss adjusters are doing a professional job and calculate rebuilding costs methodically. They’re also saying that any mistakes can be easily corrected if the homeowners can provide proof that expenses that should have been covered by insurance have been overlooked. They point out that most of the people who entered into the industry after the storm did so with the intention of doing a good job, but that there will always be a tiny percentage that don’t do quite so well. Nowadays computer technology is often extensively used with the intention of making it easy for anyone to write up an insurance claim correctly, even if they know very little about the business. This is quite different from the past when quotes produced by contractors would have been more the norm.

After the storm insurance companies brought in loss adjusters from throughout the country, all of whom would have passed some sort of certification test in their state. Some would have dealt with hurricanes and floods in the past but others would’ve had little or no experience in this field. The flood insurance program is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and it’s required that adjusters should have four years’ experience. However, under certain circumstances, it does allow newcomers to begin working after a brief period of training if they are working for one of the major insurance companies.

At the moment insurance companies working with the federal government have dealt with nearly 144,000 claims that were filed with the National Flood Insurance Program after Hurricane Sandy.