Homeowners Resistant to Reopening Sandy Flood Claims
Although thousands of Sandy-impacted homeowners in New Jersey could potentially receive additional insurance money by reopening claims to the Federal Emergency Management's National Flood Insurance Program, a number of people remain hesitant to do so.
Stop FEMA Now Founder George Kasimos said he thinks people are being scared off by a warning in the letters FEMA sent to 142,000 policy holders across New Jersey and New York about the review process.
"It's basically saying, if you reopen your claim and you are overpaid, we're going to come and get more money back from you," said Kasimos. He pointed out there's a less than one-percent chance of that happening.
"A majority of the people were underpaid by $50,000 to $100,000, especially those who had water in their home," Kasimos said.
Homeowners also are concerned about duplication of benefits, according to Kasimos, which is one of several reasons he's encouraging anyone who suffered Sandy flood damage to attend free workshops that Stop FEMA Now is holding with experts this Saturday at three locations.
"I guarantee that you probably got underpaid severely, if not $10,000, $50,00 or $100,000, or more," he stressed.
Kasimos pointed out a lot of homeowners don't want to deal with FEMA any more, almost three years after the Super storm. However, he pointed out, most people did not receive payment for a number of items, including top cabinets and siding, plywood and extra sheet rock.
"There's a bunch of issues, specifically, if you can't close your door or your windows properly, you might of had foundation damage," Kasimos said.
Kasimos, a realtor and broker in Ocean County, also pointed out his concern over people who have given up on rebuilding and are walking away from their homes, as well as the impact it could have on the future landscape. He said property values have gone down significantly because there are so many properties for sale.
"Even if you sold your home, you still own your claim, and you can still reopen your Sandy claim and get justice," said Kasimos.
Saturday’s workshops will take place 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Bum Rogers Crabhouse, 2207 Southwest Central Avenue, Seaside Park; Noon to 1 p.m., at the Moose Lodge, 1801 Bay Boulevard, Ortley; and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ocean Star Fuel Service Station, 65 Union Avenue/Route 71, Manasquan.
The sessions are free and open to anyone. Updates on FEMA Sandy claims will be provided, expert adjusters will discuss their experience with underpaid Sandy claims and homeowners and business owners will be able to ask questions.
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