FEMA’s appeals process favored insurance companies almost every time

The federal government’s recent announcement that it will reopen and review the flood insurance claims of any of the 144,000 Sandy victims who feel they were unfairly compensated was welcome news to struggling homeowners in New Jersey. But just how significant this turns out to be depends on how exactly the appeals process plays out in the coming months.

If history is any guide, statistics show that the deck is nearly always stacked against homeowners trying to dispute their flood-insurance claims, with some experts calling the process a “joke” and saying that it’s “rigged” in favor of insurance companies.

As a result of the growing scandal surrounding engineering reports that were allegedly doctored to deny or reduce Sandy victims’ claims, FEMA is promising a number of reforms including greater oversight to ensure storm survivors get the help they’re due.

Read the full report by Charles Lane of public radio station WSHU.

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This story comes from on NJ Spotlight, an independent online news service on issues critical to New Jersey, makes its in-depth reporting available to NewsWorks.

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