If you’re like half the people in Highlands, you may have not received your check from your Flood Insurance company yet. Insurers on average have closed out approximately 57 percent of Sandy-related flood insurance claims in New Jersey, which total more than 73,000. According to estimates from the NFIP, the NJ based Selective as of this week closed just 38 percent of the 16,609 flood insurance claims it had received.
According to App.com, Emily Burek, 28, of Highlands, filed a complaint with the state’s Department of Banking and Insurance against against her Flood insurer “Selective Insurance” and the flood adjuster it hired to handle her claim over the delays she has experienced. “I ask questions. I just get silence,” she said in an interview last week.
I’ve spoken with several people who have gotten silence from their insurance companies. (Of course, ironically, they are the same ones that tell me I’m being shafted by my insurance company, which seems to be quite average compared to the rest of the state.)
The state average of a Sandy claim that has been closed is a total payment of $38,425.
Marshall McKnight, a spokesman for the state Department of Banking and Insurance, declined to comment on the NFIP data. He said while the state agency has authority over how carriers sell flood insurance policies in New Jersey, other matters, such as the handling of claims, fall to the NFIP. “Claims handling is in not our jurisdiction. That’s the federal government.
The slow pace of flood insurance payouts since Sandy has stirred outrage from not only Highlands residents but all residents along the Jersey Shore. Last week, Gov. Chris Christie, in a letter to New Jersey’s members of Congress, urged lawmakers to encourage FEMA to address the bureaucratic barriers and inadequate staffing that he says is hindering payments to flood policyholders.