FEMA denies family's Sandy flood insurance claim

July 5, 2013 3:32:56 PM PDT
A family on Long Island trying to renovate their home damaged by Superstorm Sandy ran into a lot of trouble.

They were hoping FEMA would help foot the bill, but when the agency said no, they found their situation very much up in the air.

"It's a nightmare, it's a living nightmare every single day. There's no help," said George Bein, a homeowner.

Talk about being in limbo.

If the Bein family even wants to go inside their home in Babylon they need to use a ladder.

A few weeks ago, they used money from family and friends to raise the home eight feet because insurance told them they would cover the cost of redoing the foundation, about $117,000.

But then, two weeks ago the family got a denial letter from FEMA which administers flood insurance.

"Upon review we discovered the policy won't let us make any additional payments," George Bein said.

Specifically the letter from FEMA's flood insurance program says, "We do not insure for loss of property caused directly by earth movement even if the earth movement is caused by flood."

"We've always done the right thing. I had the insurance I was supposed to have. How am I going to go broke now when I did everything I was supposed to," said Christina Bein, a homeowner.

The inside of their home is gutted.

Contractors can't start working on it until the foundation is done.

"Our dog is one place. The cat is one place. The kids are somewhere else," George Bein said.

"So we really haven't lived together since the storm as a family," Christina Bein said.

"It's weird being away from my family for so long. I only see them once a weekend," said Robert Bein, a Babylon resident.

A representative from FEMA wouldn't discuss the Bein's specific case with Eyewitness News but said, "FEMA's top priority is to provide assistance to those in need as quickly as possible while also meeting our requirements under the law. FEMA will not be satisfied until policyholders have received payments for all covered losses."

"Somebody has to do something," Christina Bein said.

FEMA says the family can file an appeal. FEMA has 90 days to review it.