Union Beach, New Jersey, took a very hard hit from Superstorm Sandy. Over 80% of Union Beach residential structures had flood waters above two feet. The sad statistic is that even with flood insurance, most Union Beach homeowners have not been paid half of their claimed flood damage.
Union Beach Administrator Jennifer Maier provided some startling statistics, which are usually reserved for insurance company executives only, regarding Union Beach residents’ success in obtaining insurance benefits. There seems to be a significant problem getting insurers that service flood policies to pay full flood insurance benefits. The National Flood Program has paid, on average, less than fifty percent (49.62%) of benefits claimed.
But that is not as bad as it gets. Homeowner carriers have paid a measly 4.51% of benefits claimed. That’s right, less than a nickel for every dollar claimed. My perception is that homeowner carriers were paying almost nothing, citing the flood exclusionary language in standard homeowner policies. My gut feelings were proven right.
I do not know why WYO field adjusters seem to be low-balling claims. The federal flood regulations have not changed, but the adjuster attitude seems much less consumer friendly. These statistics support the complaints I hear in the field.