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TV Network News - 9/13/04


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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.”

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.

Last Modified: 092304 1615

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