A Push for Federal Investigation of Sandy Claims
State lawmakers are hoping to get Congress and the U.S. Justice Department to investigate Superstorm Sandy related insurance claims.
Shore 10th district lawmakers State Senator Jim Holzapfel, Assemblyman Dave Wolfe and Assemblyman Greg McGuckin introduced resolutions requesting Congress to conduct a probe and hearing to determine if flood insurance companies are revising engineering reports to deny legitimate Sandy claims.
"We recently saw a case out of New York where a federal judge found that insurance companies, working through FEMA, had changed engineering reports and as a result, they provided less coverage and or no coverage to certain property owners," said Assemblyman McGuckin.
"The initial engineer who had inspected the property determined that it (Homeowner's Damage) was caused by Hurricane Sandy and then someone in the insurance company had another engineer look at it and that engineer, who never saw the property or inspected it, changed the reports, arguing that it was not from the storm instead was from some kind of earth movement," McGuckin explained.
McGuckin said they're hoping a Congressional investigation will determine how widespread the practice is and how to stop it from occurring.
A U.S. Justice Department probe would look into whether the insurance companies illegally manipulated engineering reports or other investigatory activities to fraudulently deny coverage to Superstorm Sandy victims.
"Homeowners are being taken advantage of by flood insurance companies and we need the federal government to step in and examine these fraudulent claims," said Senator Holzapfel. "The residents in our district suffered some of the worst damage from this storm and are still recovering. It is repugnant to think that insurance companies would take advantage of those in need. These companies are not solely based in New Jersey and therefore the federal government need to be involved in reining them in when they do wrong."
The resolutions would need the approval of the State Assembly and State Senate to move forward.