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Deadline for Filing Sandy-Related Flood Claims Extended

Previous deadline was April 28, state officials say

Flooding in Shore Acres, Brick, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
Flooding in Shore Acres, Brick, N.J. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted a request by the administration of Gov. Chris Christie to extend the deadline o file a complete flood insurance claim, or proof of loss, in connection with damages from Superstorm Sandy.

The federal agency's decision means homeowners and business owners have an additional six months to file proof of loss documentation. The previous deadline – which was also extended – was April 28. The new deadline is Oct. 28, nearly two years to the day the storm struck.

“The extension of this deadline gives New Jersey residents and businesses vital additional time to complete their flood insurance claims,” said Christie, in a statement. “Many of the storm’s victims found further damage to their homes and businesses as they began to rebuild and they simply need more time to gather all of the documentation to finalize their flood claims. We thank FEMA for granting this extension.”

A proof of loss is a form, state officials said, is used by the policyholder to support the amount they are claiming under their flood insurance policy. FEMA’s extension of the filing deadline also gives homeowners and business owners more time to file a supplemental flood insurance claim and more time to submit required supporting documents necessary for the proof-of-loss document.

Christie’s letter of April 8, 2014, in which the deadline extension was sought, also reiterated a request to FEMA made in Dec. 2013, seeking clarification of the interplay between the extended proof of loss deadline and the one-year statute of limitations for filing litigation relating to flood insurance claims.  Both administration letters to FEMA asked the agency to interpret the one-year time period as beginning only after the denial or partial disallowance of a claim following the policyholder’s submission of the last timely filed proof of loss. The clarification would mean that the one-year window for residents to file Sandy related lawsuits would not begin until after a claim was perfected, possibly by the submission of multiple proofs of loss, and thereafter denied.

FEMA did not address that issue in its announcement this week.

The FEMA bulletin on the extension can be found here: http://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/wyobull/2014/w-14017.pdf.

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