Christie Asks For Extension From FEMA For Residents And Businesses To File Sandy Claims

If FEMA grants the request, the new deadline would be Oct. 28, 2014

Gov. Chris Christie wants the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give Superstorm Sandy victims another six months to finish up filing final flood insurance claims.

"The Administration is asking that the filing deadline be extended from April 28 2014 to Oct. 28, 2014," according to a press release issued by the governor's office today.

Christie is out of state today traveling on Republican Governors' Association business, but the release did provide several quotes from the governor.

“Superstorm Sandy was the worst natural disaster to strike New Jersey in a generation, and the process of rebuilding has been expensive and complicated," Christie said in the release. "Homeowners and business owners simply need more time to file their final flood insurance claims.”

“Many property owners have begun to rebuild only to find there was more damage than they originally thought," he said. "This extension would give New Jersey residents the vital extra time they need to successfully navigate the flood claims filing process and restore and rebuild their properties.”

A proof of loss is a form used by the policyholder to support the amount they are claiming under the policy. It must then be signed, sworn and submitted to the insurance company with proper supporting documentation.

An extension of the filing deadline would give homeowners and business owners additional time to evaluate newly discovered damages and costs, obtain proper documentation, and submit detailed information in a supplemental proof of loss, according to the release. 

FEMA has twice extended the deadline for New Jersey residents to file a proof of loss. In November 2012, FEMA extended the 60-day timeframe for filing Superstorm Sandy-related proof of loss documents to October 29, 2013, one year from the date Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey.  In October 2013, the deadline was extended another six months to April 28, 2014.

Christie also wants FEMA to define the extended proof of loss deadline and the one-year statute of limitations for filing litigation relating to flood insurance claims.

Under current FEMA policy, consumers have a one-year time limit to file litigation resulting from unresolved claims. The Administration sent a letter to FEMA in December 2013 asking that the agency interpret the one-year time period as beginning after the denial or partial disallowance of a claim following the submission of proof of loss documents, the release states.

The clarification requested by the Christie Administration would mean that the one-year window for residents to file Sandy related lawsuits over flood insurance claims would not begin until after a claim was denied following the submission of the proof of loss, according to the press release. 


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