# This is what FEMA calls Insufficient Damage

by Proton Soup
Tags: alabama, disaster relief, fema, gao, tornado
P: 1,070
i can't see that this is anything other than a co-ordinated effort to reject legitimate claims. i've spent many hours in Pleasant Grove and Concord, and this is the typical type of destruction there for as far as the eye can see in either direction. these people are completely disoriented and doing well just to hold onto what little bit they may have left. "deferred maintenance" makes no sense to me. some of the homes may be older, but even newer ones routinely have masonry demolished all the way to the slab. something is wrong at either FEMA or GAO, and it seems to span administrations.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...pair-home.html

 Tornado-hit family denied FEMA grant to repair home... because of 'insufficient damage' By Daily Mail Reporter Last updated at 8:06 AM on 13th June 2011 Displaced families in tornado-ravaged Alabama are outraged after being denied federal aide to rebuild their flattened homes - due to 'insufficient damage'. Jefferson County resident Jonathan Stewart said he laughed in shock after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) claimed the house his family lost in the deadly April 27 twister was 'not unsafe to live in'. The devastating reality is the house is now a concrete slab surrounded by rubble. ... An applicant has 60 days from the date of the determination letter to appeal. ...
P: 1,123
 Quote by Proton Soup i can't see that this is anything other than a co-ordinated effort to reject legitimate claims. i've spent many hours in Pleasant Grove and Concord, and this is the typical type of destruction there for as far as the eye can see in either direction. these people are completely disoriented and doing well just to hold onto what little bit they may have left. "deferred maintenance" makes no sense to me. some of the homes may be older, but even newer ones routinely have masonry demolished all the way to the slab. something is wrong at either FEMA or GAO, and it seems to span administrations. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...pair-home.html
Private insurance companies pay claims.
HW Helper
P: 2,278
I don't know about the reason given unless it means they're only talking about damage not covered by insurance, but that family was clearly ineligible to receive FEMA disaster assistance:

 While he has since found out his insurance coverage will replace his house, the family is not alone.
FEMA guidelines for eligibility for disaster assistance:

 To receive money or help for "Housing Needs" that are the result of a disaster, all of the following must be true: You have losses in an area that has been declared a disaster by the president. You have filed for insurance benefits and the damage to your property is not covered by your insurance or your insurance settlement is insufficient to meet your losses. You or someone who lives with you is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien. The home in the disaster area is where you usually live and where you were living at the time of the disaster. You are not able to live in your home now, you cannot get to your home due to the disaster, or your home requires repairs because of damage from the disaster.
(bolding mine)

 Mentor P: 22,234 This is what FEMA calls Insufficient Damage Why would we even provide federal assistance to people without insurance? Are we trying to create a federal homeowners insurance program too?
 P: 2,179 FEMA has a point. You can't live unsafely in that house.
P: 1,123
 Quote by russ_watters Why would we even provide federal assistance to people without insurance? Are we trying to create a federal homeowners insurance program too?
Let's hope not!

I'm sure I sound like a broken record - but the insurance rules and regulations are different in every state. However, there is one truth - you are only covered for risks included in your coverage.
P: 1,070
 Quote by russ_watters Why would we even provide federal assistance to people without insurance? Are we trying to create a federal homeowners insurance program too?
well, there is a program in place to provide disaster assistance to homeowners. so at some point, a majority of congress thought it was a good idea. but with <1% of applicants being declared ineligible, that makes me think that perhaps claims are being rejected because of fraud by government officials. if scrapping the program is what the public wants to do, then let's do that. but let's not pretend that help is available for people that need it, when there is none. and let's not pay a bunch of paper pushers to process forms for a program that appears not to exist.
P: 12
 Quote by WhoWee Private insurance companies pay claims.
Not always.

Anyway, this is bad, yes, but, they filed for insurance and their house is covered by insurance, THUS why they are ineligible for aid. I can't speak for the others, but this one particular story seems like FEMA operated legitimately, since they said that their insurance covers it all.
P: 1,070
 Quote by BobG I don't know about the reason given unless it means they're only talking about damage not covered by insurance, but that family was clearly ineligible to receive FEMA disaster assistance: FEMA guidelines for eligibility for disaster assistance: (bolding mine)
they must be well-coordinated with insurance companies if they can make such a determination so expeditiously.

there is also:

 A pending lawsuit accusing FEMA of improperly denying thousands of farm workers in Texas money to repair their homes after Hurricane Dolly struck in 2008 based on the insufficient damage finding claims that FEMA used a concept called 'deferred maintenance' to back the rejections.
P: 193
 Quote by Proton Soup they must be well-coordinated with insurance companies if they can make such a determination so expeditiously.
I couldn't find a good explaination without posting a book of links, but I suggest checking up on how flood insurance is managed. The channels between property insurers and different government entities are pretty open.

Basically, the federal government subsidizes flood insurance with the private insurers actually brokering the policies. When a disaster hits, the federal government is totally defering to the insurance companies for the claims of the insureds. I wonder if something similar is going on here with FEMA and the insurance agencies for the extra funding.
P: 1,123
 Quote by mege I couldn't find a good explaination without posting a book of links, but I suggest checking up on how flood insurance is managed. The channels between property insurers and different government entities are pretty open. Basically, the federal government subsidizes flood insurance with the private insurers actually brokering the policies. When a disaster hits, the federal government is totally defering to the insurance companies for the claims of the insureds. I wonder if something similar is going on here with FEMA and the insurance agencies for the extra funding.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was designed by the federal government to fill coverage gaps behind private insurance coverage. The program is administered by the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA).

The program is typically available in "flood prone areas".
P: 193
 Quote by WhoWee The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was designed by the federal government to fill coverage gaps behind private insurance coverage. The program is administered by the Federal Insurance Administration (FIA). The program is typically available in "flood prone areas".
Right, but it's basically just a fund for the insurance agencies to draw from to use against flood-certified policies. The insurance companies are the ones that facilitate the purchase, using the government's verbage, of the actual flood insurance. They're also the ones that handle the claims.

The real point I was trying to get at - is the disaster money being handled in the same way (a subsidized pool to cover the extensive cost for the insurance companies)? In which case the homeowner may get some messages from either agency (government or insurer) in a vacuum without seeing what the other did.
 P: 1,123 No smoke and mirrors - there are very specific coverage limits under the NFIP: Single family (building $250,000) and (Contents$100,000) Also, the federal emergency flood insurance program goes into effect when a community applies for the program and ends when all of the NFIP specifics are met and the regular program is able to begin. It provides a limited amount of coverage with subsidized rates. Limits include: Single family (building $35,000) and (Contents$10,000)
P: 193
 Quote by WhoWee No smoke and mirrors - there are very specific coverage limits under the NFIP: Single family (building $250,000) and (Contents$100,000) Also, the federal emergency flood insurance program goes into effect when a community applies for the program and ends when all of the NFIP specifics are met and the regular program is able to begin. It provides a limited amount of coverage with subsidized rates. Limits include: Single family (building $35,000) and (Contents$10,000)
I'm not trying to indicate any malintent, just miscommunication to the homeowner. The decision may have been made, in the OP's case, between the NFIP and their homeowners insurance already - then the NFIP was just quicker at delivering the news ;)
 P: 1,123 It's been my experience, unfortunately, that most people wait until something happens to them to become informed and familiar with how their coverage works. (I've disclosed in previous threads I work professionally in the insurance industry)
P: 681
 It's been my experience, unfortunately, that most people wait until something happens to them to become informed and familiar with how their coverage works. (I've disclosed in previous threads I work professionally in the insurance industry)
I think that makes sense though- generally people would have two contacts in insurance. First the salesman or HR rep who provides the initial policy information. And then if something goes wrong, the person handling the claim. If the original contact laid out what is covered in broad strokes, there is no need to deal with details until its time to make a claim.
P: 801
 Quote by ParticleGrl I think that makes sense though- generally people would have two contacts in insurance. First the salesman or HR rep who provides the initial policy information. And then if something goes wrong, the person handling the claim. If the original contact laid out what is covered in broad strokes, there is no need to deal with details until its time to make a claim.
This does seem to be pretty common, but it's hard to take someone seriously if they enter into a written contract without reading it, then object to its terms.

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