State officials chide FEMA

Posted November 1, 2011
Updated November 2, 2011

Updated: See below.

State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin and Hurricane Recovery chief Bob Etheridge are asking federal disaster officials to take another look at flood damage in North Carolina caused by Hurricane Irene.

In an October 28th letter to National Flood Insurance Program Claims Director James Sadler, Goodwin and Etheridge say they've heard complaints from affected residents that flood insurance adjusters didn't do their jobs. 

"In meeting with those individuals and businesses that suffered damage," the letter says, "we have learned in many cases the adjusters from the National Flood Insurance Program and the private insurance companies that provide flood insurance have not done a sufficient job of examining homeowners or businesses property or worse have failed to follow up or show up to evaluate the claims."

Goodwin and Etheridge say many of those with claims have received no payment, and winter is just around the corner. 

"We respectfully ask that the National Flood Insurance program and the private companies that also provide flood insurance policies in North Carolina send claims adjusters back to our impacted areas to reevaluate the initial inspections, follow up on inspections that were scheduled but were never
completed or in some cases were never performed," the letter says. "It is important for these claims to be evaluated properly and paid as quickly as possible so that these survivors can continue to rebuild their lives that they get the services that they paid for when they bought and maintained their flood insurance policy." 

Etheridge said he's been holding meetings with storm victims all around eastern North Carolina for weeks. He said the letter was precipitated by a meeting last Thursday in Tyrrell County, where he said the mayor, city council members and residents complained of insufficient help from NFIP.

"We want to give them a chance to fix it, and I think they will," Etheridge said. "We haven’t got a positive response yet, but I think we will."

Etheridge was quick to add his appreciation for the federal help so far. "They did send one of their top investigators last week, and he’s been trying to put fires out. But after Thursday, ti was my feeling we needed more than one person putting fires out. We need to bring in the fire truck."

Officials at NFIP did not immediately respond to a request for comment. I'll update here when they do. 

Update: Federal disaster officials say NFIP adjusters are headed back to NC to reinspect Irene damage. {{a href="blogpost-10329972"]}More here.{{/a}} 


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  • Nancy Nov 1, 2011

    The federal government has no business subsidizing poor choices (they are the only ones who provide flood insurance).

    And last year it was several billion in the red before any storms hit this year.

    They don't collect enough in premiums to cover the claims made.

    With 53% of the nations population living within 50 miles of coastal water, it's only going to get more expensive. And more move near the coast annually.

    We're stupid to try to 'fund' disaster relief.

  • HolyGoloBatman Nov 1, 2011

    Blame Bush! He should have known that other storms were going to hit NC after he left office. And we all know we cannot blame the teflon President for our current economic situations. They don't become HIS responsibility until he's into his (hopefully not) second term.

    What a sad state of affairs the American people are in!

  • smegma Nov 1, 2011

    there's nothing wrong with handouts hereandnow. if you read a little further you'd understand it's the capable people that LIVE ON HANDOUTS that we are against

  • JustOneGodLessThanU Nov 1, 2011

    New Rule: If you against government handouts, when your house, property or crops are damaged, you are not allowed to accept any government handouts.

    Ok, you can, but you need to change your mind about handouts so as not remain a hypocrite. There are plenty of people who are having trouble in this world for reasons beyond their control. You are no different.

  • gnewsome1 Nov 1, 2011

    Typical. Pay the premiums and they withhold payment when it is most needed.

  • Fun Nov 1, 2011

    If FEMA doesnt work-abolish it. whatever...it's just government with too too much money....its called government greed

  • whyalltheproblems Nov 1, 2011

    that's just great. we pay almost $1,000 a year in flood insurance. love the quality of service.

  • mochabrown Nov 1, 2011

    FEMA is terrible. I know how one of the adjusters did me when hurricane Floyd came. A time was scheduled for him to come and survey the damage. He called and cancelled. Then called later and said he could come at 7:30pm (it was dark due to time change), he calls and said he would like to stop by. When I said no, then my claim was denied.

  • freedom monkey Nov 1, 2011

    Begging for money from the FED's. Just stop depending on them and take care of NC by ourselves.

  • Rebelyell55 Nov 1, 2011

    Not surprised. The longer the companies hold on to the money, the more money they can make of interest. They're most likely taking a bath right now, on investment. It's a standard pratice fo the insurance company to drag out payments.