what the hell is going on here

OK so its been almost two months now and our homes have been hurt severely , our community is suffering and trying to get back on its feet, many stores and restaurants are back and doing well ok but what is going on with our flood insurance, I have been paying for almost 40 years and never put in a claim until now and I am amazed on how the companies just do not give a crap about us, you call and hear that stupid automated line of BS press 1 for new policy, press 2 for questions about our lunch hours press 3 for we really don't give a damn about you or stay on the line till tomorrow for one of our rude customer service people to hang up on you, yes I know they are very busy but holly crap, thats their job , that is why we pay so much and what do we get, you have to wait for the adjuster, well my story, my great adjuster was at my house 4 days after the storm, great I thought I should be getting my coverage money soon, he was great, that is until I never heard from him until, I called and spoke to him and it was the same old story, I am very busy and you have to wait one more week, well its now three weeks later and I am hearing the same story.I called the carrier and a top of the line company at that ,was told they have to wait for his final report, ok so when will that happen, the answer is we are not sure, it seem we are at their beck and call. but the people that did not have flood insurance got a nice check for $31000 from FEMA , that is as long as you knew someone. so why pay for insurance when you can get FREE insurance from fema and I am mad as hell and not going to take it anymore ....yea right I am just like most of you, taking it and taking it where the sun does not shine.
Happy and Healthy New Year to all

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paul.d.spellman December 29, 2012 at 08:22 AM
Elliot, Have you asked for or received any advances?
Tonto Hertzberg December 29, 2012 at 10:49 AM
Bypass the adjuster and call the company he works for, probably a contracted firm for the insurer. Tell them you want the $5,000 maxium allowed advance for content loss. Tell them you also want an advance for property damage equal to the bills you have already paid and the receipts shown to the adjuster. You have a CONTRACT with them and they are required to fulfill it. Tell them you want the checks sent overnight via UPS.
Tonto Hertzberg December 29, 2012 at 10:51 AM
In addition, these payments are an ADVANCE and acceptance does not mean you are obligated to accept the final total.
Eddie December 29, 2012 at 12:07 PM
Yes, they are obligated to send you an advance if you request it. The next problem is that the check will be made payable to you and the mortgagee. Some mortgage companies are less than honorable and will ask you to indorse the check over to them. Good luck ever seeing your money then. As you may have already learned, Flood Insurance isn't insurance at all, but one more government redistribution scheme -- one more middle class tax bestowed upon the working guy to pay for those who don't want to work.
Eddie December 29, 2012 at 12:09 PM
And, no, I know of nobody who got their flood insurance settlement. Something about the lack of a federal budget. Don't hold your breath. The money ain't there yet and won't be until the Feds get legislation to print some more.
Tonto Hertzberg December 29, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I will add one thing. If you are behind in your mortgage payments or in some other way owe the bank then it is likely they would insist on getting those payments up to date.
Eddie December 29, 2012 at 12:58 PM
Pat, the policy of most banks is to sign over the check to you if it's less than $10,000. If it's greater than that they want you to give it to them, they place it in escrow and issue you payments as you prove all work is completed subject to their inspections. You'll see. I know what I'm talking about. I've been in this business for thirty five years. If you go to FEMA's web site you'll read that the National Flood Insurance Program is not insurance at all but a government benefit. Yes, it's subject to your contract and your policy documents. What about the folks without insurance who got FEMA checks? You didn't pay for them? You certainly did. They came out of the National Flood Insurance Program. So what do you call "insurance" that pays non-policy holders before it pays policy holders? I call that a scam. Anyone who doesn't is an idiot. Speaking of idiots, did you get your City of Long Beach tax bill today Pat? What do you think of the $240 "Defecit Reduction Surcharge" being taken from your family by the Democrats between assessments? That's no scam either, Right Pat? Moron.
Eddie December 29, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Maybe I'm being hard on the banks, but my experiences have been different from yours. From a banks view, a they must protect their collateral. If it took a substantial loss ($10,000 or more for Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and any other Fanny Mae insured mortgage) they consider that to threaten the value of their collateral. SO they want to assure that the insurance proceeds return their investment to market value. That's why they want to escrow the proceeds and assure they are distributed to contractors. It can be a bureaucratic nightmare for homeowners who have to wait further until their funds are released. Banks, too often try to leverage the money from owners, requiring receipts, inspections and prepayment of balances, fees, etc. Happens every day. Beware of it or you'll be waiting more months for your funds. I can scan such policies and post here. But anyone interested can simply call their mortgagee. That simple. You can too, I already know about this stuff.
Martha December 29, 2012 at 10:49 PM
1) If our properties have lost value why aren't our tax assessments going down while our houses are devalued? 2) Has anyone gotten the 250k max on their house? We live in a one floor ranch. Our insurance company said that being condemned doesn't mean that THIS storm caused all the damage and that they are not required to pay 250k. - Chuck Schumer was in Long Beach today and News 12 reported that he is fighting to allow residents to not just fix the damage from this storm...but fix the home from future storms. Anyone know the truth? 3) Our mortgage company was very timely in giving us our advance check, but we will have to have them inspect before they release any more money. HOWEVER, we have not agreed to our settlement offer. The adjusters mislead us the whole time saying "fix your house." Well, they are offering us half of what we NEED to just fix the house...and that doesn't include raising it...just fixing it! I would be interested to know what other West End residents in one floor ranch houses are being offered and/or what their experiences have been.
Tonto Hertzberg December 29, 2012 at 11:16 PM
Martha: Sounds like you have issues that are beyond the scope of most folks to deal with. Have you considered a public adjuster service to represent you? They take roughly 8% or so off the top of any settlement. The link below is to Wkipedia concerning public adjusters. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_adjuster
Eddie December 30, 2012 at 08:30 AM
Martha, seriously consider Pat's suggestion. It's the best advice written here. Consider hiring a public adjuster. He is an insurance adjuster who will work for you. He knows all the rules and the business, and will negotiate on your behalf to get every penny of your settlement. Much of what you are being told is true. But that does not mean that you have received what you are owed. There are many expenses that can be explored and many adjustments can be made to your settlement. Unless you are an experienced insurance adjuster, you really have no business negotiating with people who do this for a living. Seriously consider hiring an expert to represent your interest here. I know of nobody in Breezy Point or Rockaway receiving their flood "insurance" settlements, and I speak with these people daily.
EF December 30, 2012 at 09:58 AM
Consider a public adjuster. Also, as people have mentioned, you can request an advance payment to get started (this does not imply that you are agreeing to anything settlement-wise). You can also talk to the damage claims dept at your bank and tell them that this is an advance payment and you need the whole amount to begin repairs. They may review it and allow the entire amount to be endorsed at a local bank branch (that was our experience). Also, an SBA loan will get you money pretty quickly - they have a grace period of almost a year, so you can use that money to begin repairs and repay it when the insurance $$ comes thru. That is the point of the SBA loan program for disaster victims. And $31,000 from FEMA for uninsured people is not going to go very far if they have to rebuild an entire house - I'd rather wait for my insurance settlement. And I don't think that flood insurance payments are contingent on the Federal budget talks - if you have insurance, you should get a settlement.
paul.d.spellman December 30, 2012 at 02:21 PM
"Has anyone gotten the 250k max on their house?" How many houses in long beach have sustained 250K in damage? Yes your contractor may tell you it will cost 250K+, when you hear that for a bungalow in the west end, you shake the man's hand and send him on his way and on his way out the door tell him his company should stop advertising their services on late night TV and then they would not need such a large markup.
Just wondering December 30, 2012 at 02:40 PM
As a business owner and resident in LB i assure you that the businesses might be open but they are not doing well and many will not make it through the winter much less the year. I am dealing with insurance nightmares as i have placed all my ducks in a row with public adjusters, lawyers, insurance broker agency and still the "I am working on it, need to get the reports before we begin the fight". On 10/30, two months from today i began the process of cleaning my home from sandy. I had no time to waste, I was told as the damage would only get worse. So i threw out everything even things later i found out i didn't have to throw out. Ripped my first floor out to the studs and began cleaning out my savings to start the rebuild....because there was no time to wait. The insurance company told me i had to prevent further damage or they would not cover it. Well because the salt water hit the money tree in my back yard and it is now dead, I am forced to rely on my insurance company to pay me what i deserve in a timely manner. Hahaha that must be the biggest joke so far because my public adjuster informed me yesterday that it could be another 60-90 days before those reports even get to the desks of the insurance carriers or finished by the adjusters......ugh, meaning it could be months before you see money...
Just wondering December 30, 2012 at 02:43 PM
@EF not so easy with the SBA...I was denied for my business being to small and located in LB being a high risk are after such a disaster.....personally denied because i am unemployed.....Don't give people false hope there are no white knight for regular people only the very rich and the very poor....Welcome to America
Eddie December 30, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Yes, we too were denied a Small Business loan because we are in Long Beach which is now a high risk area. Be sure you file your tax grievance, since the same City Council president who is raising your taxes 50% is announcing in the media that Long Beach is a Superfund site.
paul.d.spellman December 30, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Eddie, Isn't his 6 months up or is that next Tuesday or more smoke we need to evacuate?
water guy January 01, 2013 at 04:27 PM
I got the info and with so much needed and the things needed to get the SBL odds are not to many biz in long beach will get it, there is a chamber of commence meeting to go over all these items, its in Island Park, voice your feeling, odds are it will not matter to much, scream, let them know how hard it is to restore your biz, and worse what if there is no board walk this summer.
Just wondering January 02, 2013 at 08:16 AM
i was there last week and the SBA's primary concern is your ability to pay if that is questionable you will be denied, end of story. There are absolutely no resources for small mom and pops. They all say the same thing "we are here to help you rebuild" HA
paul.d.spellman January 02, 2013 at 08:32 AM
JW, you do realize that the SBA loan program is a "loan program". I for one am glad that the gov't (or at least one section) is not just blindly handing money out to anyone who applies but is doing diligence to make sure any "direct loan" does in fact have a possibility of being paid back.
Just wondering January 03, 2013 at 09:39 AM
Paul, I realize that it is a loan, but without capital....mom and pop businesses will be gone....do you know what that will do to the revenue of this city since most of the businesses in LB are owned and operated by the residents.....Monies is given out daily to corporate America i.e banks, AIG (they caused their financial woes, I didn't cause mine)with the hopes they will be able to pay it back and they did, but it was a chance and the gov't should take chances with the little guys but we seem to get swept under the rug will no resources at all.
Just wondering January 03, 2013 at 09:40 AM
At Elliot, Did it at last weeks meeting....I am so scared LB is going to look like a ghost of its former self...very sad
water guy January 04, 2013 at 09:18 AM
All, as sad as it seems we will get thru this, I hope.it is taking a toll on all of us and now that we have a very good idea of how to proceed, we are more depressed and pissed off,. Mad as hell and taking it where the sun does not shine...... get mad then let it out, go to the beach and scream, as loud as you can how pissed off you are, how mad you are at our leaders, then relax and start your calls to these leaders, it might not help but it cant hurt.. I am no expert but I do have like most of you have a heart that is broken and only want answers.


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