Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A quick turnaround of flood insurance claims will get Lockport back on its feet sooner, U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer and state Sen. George Maziarz said Thursday.
Both are urging the Federal Emergency Management Administration and property casualty insurers who administer FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program to ramp up the resources at their disposal to handle the surge of incoming flood and other insurance claims for Lockport homeowners impacted by the June 28 torrential rains and flooding.
Schumer and Maziarz said that a quick and fair review of insurance claims will allow the rebuilding process to move forward quickly and will ensure that Lockport gets back on its feet sooner, but warned that past experience – including in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy – shows that insurers are often not prepared to handle surges in claims. In a letter the senators urged FEMA and the insurers to work together to ensure that there will be enough claims adjusters on the ground to handle the surge in claims.
“The city of Lockport experienced historic flooding and sewage back-ups at the end of June, which caused severe damage to homes, businesses and public infrastructure. As the city of Lockport begins the recovery process, it is critical that flood and other insurance claims are processed quickly and fairly, so that residents and business owners can rebuild as quickly as possible,” Schumer said in a statement. “In anticipation of a significant number of incoming claims from Niagara County, we are also specifically urging that FEMA and the insurers who administer the federal flood insurance program work together to boost the hiring of adjusters to ensure a quick turnaround and to demonstrate that residents of Lockport are not on their own.”
“As a resident of this community, I know firsthand the level of destruction and mayhem these floods have caused residents and business. For many, their lives have been turned upside down,” Maziarz said. “I want to thank Sen. Schumer for focusing his time and attention on the storm victims — and for visiting our community to first-hand witness the excessive damages we have experienced. I am happy to partner with Sen. Schumer and am hopeful that by working together to urge a quick and fair review of insurance claims by insurers, Lockport will soon be on the road to recovery.”
In their letter, addressed to FEMA and the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Schumer and Maziarz urged the agencies to ensure that its members work expeditiously and fairly their efforts to review flood insurance claims for residents of Niagara County, specifically the city of Lockport, in the aftermath of significant flooding at the end of June.
Specifically, the senators are asking that insurance companies hire more adjusters or recruit them from other areas, if needed, to deal with the increased volume and prevent significant delays for homeowners. Furthermore, Schumer and Maziarz also asked that “insurance companies offer residents the benefit of the doubt when evaluating their claims ... work quickly and fairly in an effort to ensure that those impacted by the flooding get the support they need and deserve.”