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Home > News > 2004 Archive > August > August 03 - County Executive Asks For Report from Isabel Advocate

County Executive Asks For Report from Isabel Advocate

Towson, MD (August 3, 2004) - Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr. has asked Steve Kanstoroom, an advocate for victims of Hurricane Isabel independently investigating flood insurance settlement claims, to document his findings in order to advance progress on a review of insurance claims by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Victims of last September's hurricane continue to grapple with issues related to flood insurance claims settlements.

"Steve Kanstoroom has put in more than 2500 hours of his own time looking into problems surrounding the NFIP's claims settlement process," said Smith. "In order to move the investigation forward in an expedited manner, I have asked Steve to prepare a report documenting these continuing issues so that I can forward them to the appropriate officials in the federal government."

Kanstoroom, a retired fraud detection consultant, suffered flood damage to his home in Talbot County during Isabel. His investigation so far has revealed a number of troubling issues including that the software used by many insurance claims adjusters relied on an errant database, resulting in artificially low settlements. In addition, Kanstoroom says that an apparent conflict of interest exists in that many of the same people and companies that handled the initial claims have been involved in the review of those disputed claims. Also, he says he has uncovered a training disparity whereby NFIP has trained insurance agents in regards to significant coverage aspects afforded by the program, yet, adjusters have been trained that these same coverage aspects do not exist.

Bernice Myer, a flood victim from Millers Island, is head of the Isabel Victims Coalition and has teamed with Kanstoroom and other victims' advocates to bring these findings to the attention of public officials. 

Other Baltimore County Isabel victims are urging support for Kanstoroom's findings.  Georgia Poling and her family still live in a temporary FEMA trailer in eastern Baltimore County 10 months after Isabel and says she has still not received enough funding from the NFIP to settle her insurance claims, has taken money out of her business to repair her home and may lose her business as a result.  Ms. Poling owns the Heritage Food Market in the Dundalk Village Shopping Center. "Without having Steve involved I don't know where any of us would be," said Ms. Poling. "None of this would have happened had the NFIP paid us for what we were entitled to."

Revised August 3, 2004

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