Conspirators Allegedly Defraud Policy Holders In Sandy Flood Claims
We recently uncovered news that attorneys are working on a case of manipulated engineering reports that were the cause of flood insurance claim denials for those impacted by Hurricane Sandy! These engineering reports which were allegedly doctored Allegedly doctored to keep the insured from getting a fair claim settlement is under investigation and more news on this breaking story is expected to surface soon.
This news comes shortly after the US Department of Justice issued a letter to the US District Court of New Jersey on December 23, 2014 stating that FEMA requested engineering reports from firms contracted by NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) which were reported to be connected to over 1,500 civil court cases of alleged racketeering charges.
One specializing attorney, Chip Merlin, suggests that it is more than just reports that have been falsified, but draft estimates of damage as well. Merlin, who spoke with the Asbury Park Press commented, saying, “…estimates of damage were lowered by the insurance companies and or their vendors in many instances.”
Plaintiffs argue that these engineering reports had been falsified to remove any indication that flooding was the cause of damages to residential and business properties in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. You may recall Hurricane Sandy, also called Superstorm Sandy, was the deadliest and most destructive hurricane of the 2102 Atlantic Hurricane Season and the runner up to the most costly hurricane in U.S. History, caused 285 known fatalities with sustained winds reaching up to 115 mph. It would appear that the plaintiffs are arguing that insurance companies, looking to take advantage of this storm, prevented claims from being paid out to home and business owners, allowing the insurance companies to benefit by driving up the claims handling expenses.
Named in the investigation are insurers which include units of Hartford Financial Services Group, Wright National Flood Insurance Co. Travelers Cos., and Selective Insurance, all alleged co-conspirators in the scheme to defraud the insured for their own gain.
Bloomberg reports that insurers will benefit from the National Flood Insurance Program’s reimbursement policy, one that incentivizes lengthy litigation, prolonged in order to charge and collect unnecessary claims handling expenses and attorneys’ fees.
According to a Bloomberg report, insurers benefit from the National Flood Insurance Program’s reimbursement program, which incentivizes prolonged litigation “in order to charge and collect unnecessary claims handling expenses and attorneys’ fees.”
Now that this is coming to light through several media outlets including USA Today, many insurers that sell FEMA-backed flood policies have been encouraged by the Justice Department to “Follow their lead.”
Plaintiffs who have questioned these engineering reports from the beginning are grateful that light is being shed on this ploy to separate policy holders from what they rightfully deserve.