Hurricane Sandy Flood Claims Move to Arbitration
Fallout is still occurring from Hurricane Sandy and insurance claims placed following the super storm. The National Flood Insurance Program recently hired a dispute resolution team to serve as the neutral arbiter in several thousand cases related to Sandy. The firm is one of the world’s largest dispute resolution firms.
JAMS Reviews are Underway
JAMS (formerly known as the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Service) based in Irvine, California will send retired judges and attorneys to work with the flood insurance program and residents of affected by Hurricane Sandy. The judges and attorneys have experience dealing with insurance claims and can review the appeals filed by homeowners who took issue with the settlements offered by the National Flood Insurance Program, run by FEMA.
The flood insurance program has agreed to review 142,000 of the claims filed after the 2012 storm. Accusations of the program shorting homeowners on payments have run rampant and have gained a great deal of media attention in the area in nationwide.
FEMA Has the Final Say
JAMS began its review in June. The National Flood Insurance Program stated it will give “substantial weight” to whatever JAMS recommends based on its review. FEMA has the final say over whether settlements will be increased, which leaves some wondering if the review is just for show. In the meantime, homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy wait, hoping that whatever the final settlements might be they will allow them to rebuild their homes and lives in the area