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6/23/05 SNN6 - Florida flood victims banding together to file suit against FEMA and insurers

Copyright © 2005 Sarasota Herald-Tribune

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6/10/05 WUSA - A Waiting Game

Copyright 2005, W*USA 9

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5/10/05 WNCT - Chaising Claims

Copyright © 2005 WNCT Media General

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4/14/04 Congressional Action - WINK Eye Team Investigation, Chris Cifatte reports

Copyright © 2005 WINK Television and Fort Myers Broadcasting

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11/25/04 Eye Team Investigation leads to new questions about FEMA - WINK Eye Team Investigation, Chris Cifatte reports

Copyright © 2004 WINK Television and Fort Myers Broadcasting

"The biggest battle is over flood insurance."

WINKTV News

"It got so bad we actually kicked the private insurers out of the [National Flood Insurance] Program."

J. Robert Hunter, Former Federal Insurance Administrator and Texas Insurance Commissioner

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11/16/04 Eye Team Investigation leads to new questions about FEMA, Chris Cifatte reports

Copyright © 2004 WINK Television and Fort Myers Broadcasting

“Best thing to do with those [whistle-blower documents apparently implicating DHS IG and FEMA employees in wrongdoing] is send them back to us - shred your copies"

Instructions from DHS Inspector General's Counsel to victim's advocate

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9/21/04 One Year Anniversary Of Isabel Part 2, Mary Bubala reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

"Victims were doubly hit because they thought FEMA would be on their side. I thought FEMA would be on their side."
US Senator Barbara Mikulski

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9/20/04 One Year Anniversary Of Isabel Part 1, Mary Bubala reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Adjuster's accusations of insurance industry price fixing - Part 1.

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9/14/04 Isabel Victims Still Waiting For Help,
Mary Bubala reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Isabel-like claims problems are being experienced by Florida's Charley victims.

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9/13/04 A Flood of Problems – WINK Eye Team Investigation, Chris Cifatte reports

Copyright © 2004 WINK Television and Fort Myers Broadcasting

“Disturbing pattern of problems for local hurricane
victims – the people you think are there to help you, might very well be working against you.”
WINKTV News

Isabel-like claims problems have now been found in Florida. “My house was hit by a twenty foot wave. It destroyed 3 structural walls, the insurance company said it was cosmetic damage.”
Fred Gentry
Hurricane Isabel victim

Ft. Myers Beach, FL residents are starting to have the same problems with shockingly low settlements. Ft. Myers Beach resident was originally offered one thousand dollars – later upped to twenty-two thousand. Insurance companies often use new construction pricing in lieu of much more costly repair and renovation numbers.

“Just based on the numbers they’re using, the database is probably about 10 years old.”
Ron Hill
FL Contractor

Often it takes months before a victim learns of their actual damages. FEMA instructs its adjusters they will do better if they settle claims within fifteen days “that’s even a better score”. High ranking FEMA official says the program is working like it’s supposed to and flood insurance is intended to provide “some assistance”.    Florida’s Governor Jeb Bush is made aware of the problems and his CFO Tom Gallagher says he will take on any adjuster that underpays a claim, “We will investigate every claim you bring us”.

FEMA states it has independently reviewed Hurricane Isabel claims but US Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes report otherwise.

Industry official learns of FEMA’s new position regarding flood insurance and calls concerns over consumer protection issues to the attention of DHS Under Secretary Michael Brown.

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9/9/04 Insurance May Not Cover As Much As You Think – WINK Eye Team Investigation, Chris Cifatte reports

Copyright © 2004 WINK Television and Fort Myers Broadcasting

Florida’s hurricane victims are already experiencing claims related problems that have left Hurricane Isabel victims trapped in FEMA campers one year after the storm.

Bush appointee and FEMA spokesperson David Maurstad states, “The National Flood Insurance Program provides some assistance” but Florida CFO Tom Gallagher states, “Your home should be back in the condition it was prior to the storm.” FEMA states it has independently reviewed Hurricane Isabel claims but US Senators Mikulski and Sarbanes report otherwise. Industry insider alleges price fixing.

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4/29/04 Insurance after Isabel, Mike Shuh reports 10k offered for 47k claim

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

"I'm particularly concerned about the number of irregularities we've had here."
Bush Appointee & FEMA Director Anthony S. Lowe

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3/25/04 Isabel hearing six months after the disaster, Alex DeMetrick reports from Capitol Hill

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

"They're struggling to get the money that they feel is owed to them. They're frustrated, they're confused and quite frankly Mr. Chairman and colleagues they are fed up. We've got to get this straight."
US Senator Barbara Mikulski

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3/23/04 Isabel victims angered over treatment by Insurers, Dennis Edwards reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

FEMA admits to reviewing 80 claims - later learned the number of complaints as of that date were in the thousands.

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11/20/03 Hurricane Isabel Aftermath – Part 1, Sally Thorner reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Hundreds of Maryland families are still without the money to rebuild. Many are still living in unimaginable conditions and may never see the money to put their lives back together.

“I think these folks have fallen through the cracks." Michael Vivirito, President
Bowley’s Quarters Improvement Association, Inc

Contrary to Congressional intent, FEMA says the government is not an insurance company but rather a temporary fix. “We are here to help you get out of the street and provide you a decent place to stay while you are putting your life back together.”
FEMA Spokesman

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11/13/03 Isabel victims still looking for help, Adam May reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Hundreds of victims ask,“Where’s my help?” People that have insurance have a whole other frustration. “My house is demolished. What am I going to do?” First time in twenty-two years they ever had to use their insurance. “You would think they would get right on top of it and help us out. It’s not that way.”
Isabel victim G. Wright

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11/13/03 Deadline approaches for Isabel victims to file Government Insurance Claims, Dennis Edwards reports

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

"We're there to function as a safety net. We provide a clean, sanitary and safe and functional environment for them to live in while they're recovering on their own."
FEMA Spokesperson

FEMAINFO Note - the report mentions victims having only days left to file proof of loss forms. The filing deadline had been extended by sixty days, yet these victims and the press were unaware.

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10/28/03 Bowley’s Quarters in Baltimore County still recovering from Hurricane Isabel, Dennis Edwards reports.

© MMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Delays in insurance payments or low settlement offers are forcing many to consider a class action law suit.

“Nobody down here has gotten a check. Nobody. And it’s absolutely asinine.”
Thomas Stem
Isabel Victim and Insurance Agent


Last Modified: 092304 1615

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Catastrophe Claims News:

Victims file $2 billion fraud suit

Maryland Insurance Commissioner alerts 13 commissioners, including AL, MS, LA and TX to flood adjusters' low-balling tactics

Former Presidential appointee and TX Ins. Com. speaks out on NFIP, "Fraud may have occurred on a large scale"

Desperate Moms plead for help from Laura Bush, Oprah and Montel

DHS Internal Briefing - To the Secretary and Senior Staff; US Senators request DOJ Investigation into FEMA

FEMA Insiders Report Internal "Disaster in the making" Expert reports plummeting moral, eroded capabilities and disaster professionals leaving FEMA in droves

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