Flood Insurance Claims Hitting Speed Bumps in New Jersey

FEMA data highlights delays in flood insurance claims

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has begun releasing information concerning the rate at which flood insurance claims produced by Hurricane Sandy are being finalized. Since Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast U.S. in late October 2012, flood insurance claims have been a problem for victims of the storm. The natural disaster caused widespread flooding that ruined many properties throughout the northeast, with much of the damage being localized in New Jersey.

Selective Insurance highlighted by FEMA data

According to FEMA, Selective Insurance, a homeowners insurance provider that offers flood coverage, has been sluggish in closing flood insurance claims it has received from Hurricane Sandy victims. Selective Insurance operates its flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal program that accounts for the vast majority of flood protection in the U.S. FEMA notes that the insurer is significantly slower in closing claims than its competitors, causing serious delays in the recover effort in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Insurer slow to process claims

FEMA data shows that Selective Insurance has closed only 38% of the 16,609 flood insurance claims it has received since October 29, 2012. Other insurers have closed approximately 57% of the claims they are responsible for in New Jersey, totally 73,000 claims that have been finalized. The vast majority of these claims resulted in payouts to policyholders, with few being rejected due to problems with coverage.

Insurer suggests FEMA data is not entirely accurate

Selective Insurance suggests that the data from FEMA does not accurately represent the entirety of the claims handling process. The insurer notes that there are several factors in play when handling flood insurance claims, especially those associated with policies handled through a public entity. Whether the data from FEMA is entirely accurate or not, New Jersey homeowners continue to suffer from delays in claims payments for their flood insurance coverage. These delays have seriously inhibited the recovery effort throughout the state in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

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