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Monday, October 20, 2014
Cuomo: State will compensate for 'earth movement' loss
(Page 3 of 3)

For more information call 1-855-697-7263 or visit www.stormrecovery.ny.gov.

On the federal level

In the meantime, the federal government has not responded to the request to remove the earth movement exclusion from NFIP.

“Craig Fugate [FEMA administrator] is in charge of a claims department that has fraudulently denied valid flood claims using the earth movement exclusion in a fashion Congress never intended,” wrote Mrs. Mittleman. “He allows his spokespeople to report that over 95% of flood claims have been closed to give the appearance that they have fairly handled flood claims when the truth is that their files can be reported closed after making minimal payments, far below their actual value.”

However, there has been some movement in the Senate to reform the National Flood Insurance Program, although not specifically to address the earth movement exclusion. Last week The Leader reported that Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana has introduced legislation – the Strengthen, Modernize and Reform the National Flood Insurance Program Act or SMART NFIP – to prevent FEMA from raising rates on “grandfathered” National Flood Insurance Program Policies. The legislation would delay premium increases and repeal provisions that prevent new owners of homes within a flood zone from continuing to purchase flood insurance at the subsidized rates.

Additionally, there is a new online petition called “Repeal the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 which will devalue people’s properties and/or force them to leave their homes because they won’t be able to afford the insurance. It will cause many more foreclosures. It will also render these people’s homes almost worthless and communities to be abandoned,” it reads. The petition was started on September 28; at press time 48 people had signed it from New York, New Jersey and Louisiana. Go to www.petitions.whitehouse. gov.

Locally, at the urging of a bipartisan group of federal officials, FEMA has granted a six-month extension for thousands of Sandy-impacted homeowners to file flood insurance claims. The deadline to file a proof of Loss Form will be extended to April 29, 2014.

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