If you are an avid reader of our blog, you will know that we have regularly been reminding policyholders who have suffered property damage from Superstorm Sandy of the upcoming April 28, 2014, deadline to file their Proof of Loss for flood damages.

This past week, the Christie Administration asked FEMA to allow New Jersey residents and businesses to have another six months (until October 28, 2014) to submit their Proof of Loss. Here are a few excerpts from the press release:

Superstorm Sandy was the worst natural disaster to strike New Jersey in a generation, and the process of rebuilding has been expensive and complicated. Homeowners and business owners simply need more time to file their final flood insurance claims,” said Governor Chris Christie. “Many property owners have begun to rebuild only to find there was more damage than they originally thought. This extension would give New Jersey residents the vital extra time they need to successfully navigate the flood claims filing process and restore and rebuild their properties.

FEMA has extended this deadline twice before, and New Jersey policyholders sorely need one more extension,” Governor Christie said. “To rebuild and recover, New Jersey homeowners and business owners must file an accurate, comprehensive, and complete flood insurance claim, which can be a long and complicated process. Clearly the scope of the damage we experienced in this state would warrant another extension of this deadline.

FEMA has extended the Proof of Loss deadline twice before. First, in November 2012, FEMA extended the 60 day time-frame for filing Superstorm Sandy-related proof of loss documents to October 29, 2013 (one year from the date Superstorm Sandy struck New Jersey). Second, in October 2013, FEMA extended the deadline six more months to April 28, 2014.

It is critical that policyholders understand that even if FEMA grants the Christie Administration’s request to extend the Proof of Loss deadline another six months to October 28, 2014, a Proof of Loss may need to be submitted and a lawsuit filed well in advance of the October 28, 2014 date, in order to avoid a claim being barred by the Statute of Limitations.

We will continue to keep you informed of FEMA’s response to the Christie Administration’s request and any changes to the Superstorm Sandy Proof of Loss deadline.