September 15, 2004
Insurance May Not Cover As Much As You Think

September 10, 2004

By Brian Johnson

Rachel Zammit's Fort Myers Beach home took a big hit from Hurricane Charley, "we just finished remodeling everything." Zammit told Wink News. The Zammits were without power for a week and the main floor was filled with three feet of water.

And her first meeting with an insurance adjuster was just as stormy. Rachel Zammit told Wink-TV "they told me I was only entitled to $1,000 plus my $1,000 deductible." Eventually with help from a victims advocate she ended up with $22,000.

But what happened to her is nothing new to victims of Hurricane Isabel. Isabel victims say the National Flood Insurance Program, Which oversees all flood policies written in the entire country, has either underpaid them or not paid them at all. Fema which oversees the program says that's not true, "we have independently reviewed those claims and I believe the successful resolution of almost all of those claims now indicates that people were treated fairly." Tell that to Bernice Myer "you're not asking the best one because we're going on an anniversary for Isabel September 19th.. and I'm still not home yet." Here's what FEMA says the Flood Insurance Program does and doesn't do, remember this is what you're paying insurance annual premiums for.

"The National Flood Insurance Program is intended to provide some financial assistance to get people back on the road to recovery.. it's not designed to make them exactly as they were prior to the loss." The Flood Insurance Act of 2004, that President Bush signed into law on June 30'th specially says, the program goal is "That flood victims be restored to their pre-flood conditions."

Steve Kanstroom has seen Charley's wrath up close and he's leading the charge in the Flood Insurance Program. Kanstroom told Wink News "There really is a systematic plan where by the major insurers in the US low ball claims, stonewall people, wear them down." Steve Kanstroom met with Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher at Wink-TV studios he told Wink News no matter what anyone says "your home should be back in the same situation it was before the storm.." And he says his office will help enforce that. Meanwhile for victims like Rachel Zammit are starting over and if getting their insurance money is just like winning the first round. If you're having insurance problems related to the Hurricane the State has a hotline 1-800-22-STORM.

RELATED LINKS:
Flood Insurance

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