Flood Insurance Changes May Strike Residents Still Recovering from Sandy

Hurricane Sandy devastated thousands of families along the New York and New Jersey coastlines, flooding homes and washing houses right off their foundations. A year later, many families still have not received benefits from their insurance companies or the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and they are fighting their insurance carriers and the government and to receive the compensation they need to get their lives back together.

Meanwhile, efforts are ongoing to redraw flood maps, and insurance companies are petitioning to hike flood insurance rates.

Hurricane Sandy, classified as a slow-moving “superstorm,” came ashore on October

29, 2012, near Atlantic City, bringing 95 mph winds and 12.5 inches of rain. The storm flooded streets, tunnels and subway lines and destroyed homes and businesses.  Its storm surge reached up to 12 feet. Many New York families are still recovering.

Flood Insurance Reform

A few months before the storm struck, in July 2012, Congress passed the Reform Act of 2012, calling on FEMA and other agencies to change the way the National Flood Insurance Program is run.

Key provisions require the program to raise rates to reflect true flood risk, make the program more financially stable, and change how updates in the flood insurance rate map impact policyholders. The changes will mean premium rate increases for some policyholders. Homeowners and business owners are encouraged to learn their flood risk and talk to their insurance agents to determine whether their policies will be affected by this act.

The federal National Flood Insurance Program also requires most businesses and homeowners in high-risk flood zones to buy flood insurance.

The Huffington Post reports that the legislation may result in premium increases for 1.1 million homeowners who have received subsidized, below-risk coverage. It also could sock even more homeowners whose homes met older building standards or were deemed at lower risk under previous flood maps. Under the old rules, they could retain their old rates because they followed the rules when they bought or built their homes, but they will soon lose those grandfathered rates under the new law.

New flood maps threaten to saddle some homeowners who are paying a few hundred dollars a year now with annual premiums of more than $20,000.  The maps showed a total of 68,000 structures in New York City were in flood zones. The maps will go into effect in mid-2015.

Many Hurricane Sandy survivors are still struggling to receive their insurance benefits that will enable them to repair or rebuild their damaged and devastated homes.

Legal Help With New York Insurance Claims

The New York injury law firm of David Resnick & Associates have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and are ready to assist you.

Call us at 866-210-7864 or fill out our convenient online form, and we will be glad to speak with you confidentially and at no charge for our initial consultation.

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