Irene Victims Win Extension

Posted November 22, 2011

North Carolina property owners who suffered flood damage from Hurricane Irene have a sixty-day extension to seek compensation for their losses. 

The original deadline for property owners to file "proof of loss" under the National Flood Insurance Program was Wednesday, Nov. 23rd. Any claims not substantiated by federal adjusters by that date would be ineligible for compensation under the program.

But State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin joined other states' insurance chiefs in successfully seeking an extension for that deadline.   

Goodwin and state disaster czar Bob Etheridge complained to federal officials last month that they'd heard many complaints about federal NFIP adjusters, who, they said, "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."

FEMA, which oversees the National Flood Insurance Program, pledged to return to the state to re-evaluate damages.

But in a follow-up letter to NFIP Friday, Goodwin said federal representatives had been overwhelmed by property owners seeking re-inspections. 

"On November 17, Department of Insurance staff traveled to Pamlico County to meet with  residents who were wholly unaware of the November 23 deadline for filing a Proof of Loss, and whose NFIP claims have clearly received inadequate attention from assigned NFIP adjusters. 

Residents were lined up at 8:00am to speak with a FEMA representative (Russ Tinsley) who was also on-site; many waited in line for hours throughout the day, and some were turned away at the end of the day, despite another FEMA representative joining Mr. Tinsley in the afternoon."

FEMA announced today the deadline for "proof of loss reports" for NFIP has been extended by 60 days to January 23rd, 2012, for states up and down the Eastern seaboard. 

“I know that many people are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Irene, and my staff and I will do whatever we can to help,” said Goodwin. “I’m pleased that this deadline was extended, and I hope all affected North Carolinians have ample time to present their flood claims.”


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