New Jersey Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker announced that more than 140,000 people who submitted flood insurance claims for damages from Hurricane Sandy will have their claims reviewed, possibly leading to higher payments to those who may have been short-changed as a result of questionable insurance practices. David Miller, who ran the federal flood insurance program, has resigned amidst reports that insurers altered certain engineering reports to give out lower payments.
Roughly 2,000 of the 140,000 people eligible for claim review have already began the appeal process, and those who have not have been notified of their right to. In what Sen. Menendez calls a “good faith effort,” FEMA will review claims even from those whose appeal window has passed. The 15,000 homeowners whose claims were affected by the engineering reports and have not yet entered litigation will receive top priority. FEMA has yet to establish the appeals program, but the senators have been assured that the program will be straight-forward and homeowners will not need to hire attorneys. Sen. Menendez will lead a task force with other senators from New York and New Jersey to review the flood insurance program and ensure future changes.