Sandy victims have until Thursday to request review of flood insurance claims

 Last year, Douglas Quinn of Toms River, New Jersey, holds a photograph showing damage to his home after Superstorm Sandy. He said his insurance company contended that the damage was pre-existing and refused his claim. Homeowners in a similar situation have until Thursday to request a FEMA review of claims that have been turned down. (AP file photo)

Last year, Douglas Quinn of Toms River, New Jersey, holds a photograph showing damage to his home after Superstorm Sandy. He said his insurance company contended that the damage was pre-existing and refused his claim. Homeowners in a similar situation have until Thursday to request a FEMA review of claims that have been turned down. (AP file photo)

The window for Superstorm Sandy victims to request to have their flood insurance claims reviewed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency closes Thursday at 11:59 p.m.

FEMA began taking a second look at flood insurance claims earlier this year after allegations of fraud and abuse by third-party contractors.

“What we’re doing is making sure that we restore faith in the program by giving everybody a chance — whether or not you believe you’ve been wronged — to file for a review of your claim to make sure that we can review your case again,” said Rafael Lemaitre, FEMA’s director of public affairs.

Of the 144,000 National Flood Insurance Program claims filed after Sandy, about 10 percent of the claimants have filed for a review so far.

Claimants who were found to have been shortchanged have been awarded an additional $16,000 on average.

FEMA has also made other changes to the NFIP in light of the fraud allegations, according to Lemaitre.

“That includes changes to the leadership of the program,” he said. “It includes adding oversight to the program to make sure that the companies we partner with share our values of putting survivors first.”

Sandy victims can call 866-337-4262 or visit FEMA’s website to request a review of their flood insurance claims.

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