Big payout for Hurricane Sandy recovery

Seven On Your Side
March 22, 2013 2:56:53 PM PDT
Superstorm Sandy left hundreds of families in our area homeless, and so many are still waiting for their insurance money to rebuild.

7 On Your Side has helped several homeowners cut through the red tape, but this time the payout was huge.

Sometimes insurance checks are held up by the bank, but there is no mortgage on a Suffolk county home that this family lived in for 16 years.

They paid a premium for protection - $2400 every year for flood insurance because living on the water they knew they were vulnerable, but they felt victimized twice.

"It is a nightmare that someone really needs to change," Jane Letterman said.

Not a single shard of glass or piece of brick has been moved in realtor Jane Letterman's Bayfront home.

"A drawer from my husband's dresser, I don't know where the rest of it is," Letterman said.

Her great room, just completed designer kitchen and home office all sustained significant damage during Sandy.

"We can't do anything because we had to wait till the insurance because they can always come back at any time and they want see something. So we had to leave it status quo," she said.

The Lettermans say their first wait was 6 weeks for an adjustor from their flood insurer, Selective, to inspect their home.

"Maybe three weeks after that visit, I got the check for 47 thousand and then that's it until this point," Letterman said.

They are owed $250,000 for repairs plus $35,000 for contents.

Left exposed, the house was looted, down to the copper pipes being ripped out!

Still they say they were told to wait for a structural engineer to determine if the house could be rebuilt.

"The red tape is astronomical," she said.

The house was declared a total loss. Months passed, and still no check. So we contacted Selective to see if we could shake the 200-thousand loose.

"Thank God for 7 On Your Side. It took them 5 hours where it was taking me five months," Letterman said.

Jane got a check for $203,000 sent immediately.

The insurance company said because of privacy rules, they couldn't comment on the Letterman's case. They did say flood insurance claims are different than regular homeowner's claims. The money is paid from the federal government. Sometimes that takes some extra time with extra documentation, but this carrier says they've paid out 84 percent of claims so far.