Governor Christie Asks For Third FEMA Extension

Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Even though 17 months have passed since Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard, many homeowners and businesses are still submitting flood insurance claims to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In many cases, the reason is that home and business owners continue to find more damage than they originally thought as they begin to repair and rebuild.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has asked FEMA to extend the deadline for filing flood insurance claims related to Hurricane Sandy deadline from April 28th to October 28th 2014. It would be the third extension.

Will An Extension Do Any Good?

In an April 4th letter to FEMA, Gov. Christie said, “Homeowners and businesses simply need more time to file their final flood insurance claims.  Many property owners have begun to rebuild only to find there was more damage than they originally thought.”

FEMA policy only gives policyholders one year to file lawsuits related to claims. However, the Christie Administration asked that the one-year window begin only once a claim was denied. Many home and business owners say that there’s simply no use for an extension when FEMA simply denies claims or pays less than what is needed to repair or rebuild.

One of those homeowners, Ed Monti from Moonachie, received approximately $15,000 from flood insurance claims, but ended up spending tens of thousands of dollars more to repair his house.  He, like many others, wants to do whatever is possible to avoid being subject to flood zones, as flood insurance rates are supposed to increase significantly due to FEMA’s recent re-zoning efforts.

Monti likely spoke for other New Jersey and New York homeowners when he made this comment about FEMA and insurance companies, “I don’t want to give them one more dime!”

Frustrated?  You’re Not Alone

If you’re a home or business owner in New York or New Jersey who is frustrated with insurance company practices, you’re not alone.  Sadly, Hurricane Sandy victims have had to deal with numerous issues such as homeowners’ insurance companies’ bad faith insurance practices, FEMA reimbursements and fraud and bickering between state and federal government over dispersing aid.

While it’s clear that the latter will take some time to resolve, home and business owners who have yet to receive their rightful homeowners’ insurance proceeds can, and should, fight back.  Insurance policies are contracts between the insurance company and the policyholder – contracts that, if violated, can be resolved through legal means.

Insurance companies know that most policyholders feel intimidated by the thought of taking on a large corporation with its own legal team – and rightfully so.  They will also do whatever they can to pay as little as possible on your claim – if anything at all.

However, that’s where an experienced New York insurance dispute lawyer can help – and the key word here is “experienced.”  Insurance companies know which law firms will take their clients’ cases to court if necessary.  Having an experienced lawyer on your side can even the playing field and help you to get your claim settled once and for all so that you can move on with your life.