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FEMA Will Reopen Up To 15,000 Sandy Claims

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AP /Mark Lennihan

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Wednesday it will reopen as many as 15,000 insurance claims related to Superstorm Sandy. The announcement comes after two weeks of negotiations with homeowners who say fraudulent engineering reports shortchanged them out of tens of thousands of dollars.

It was happenstance that a handful of homeowners discovered the damage estimates to their homes were based on forged engineering reports. During litigation, lawyers said they uncovered thousands more questionable reports.

In a statement, a FEMA spokesman said the agency will create "a process to support policyholders who suspect they may have been defrauded and are not part of ongoing litigation."

Lawyers for Sandy victims predict that could add up to $3-4 billion.

In its statement, FEMA also said it will make aggressive reforms within the National Flood Insurance Program.

Elected officials say those reforms will include more oversight over the private insurance companies that administer the flood program. 

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.
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