TOMS RIVER (NJ.com) — After Hurricane Sandy pushed some three feet of water into Doug Quinn’s home in the Silverton section of Toms River and cracked his foundation, he said he thought he was covered by the $250,000 flood insurance policy he carried on his property.
“We’re just stuck. We’re staying in limbo,” Quinn said today as he stood inside his gutted home before a news conference with U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez, (D-N.J.). “We’re in a situation where we can’t resume our lives. We can’t get home.”
Menendez, who plans to hold a Senate hearing in Washington on Wednesday about the flood insurance claims process, said it was “unconscionable” that homes still remain in such disrepair, leaving families displaced this long after Sandy hit.
Residents from across the Jersey Shore with similar Sandy recovery woes gathered at Quinn’s house to share their experiences, lamenting months filled with uncertainty and frustration.
FEMA officials noted that adjusters who handle claims for the private flood insurance companies aren’t paid until a claim is closed and the larger the claim, the more they’re paid.
FEMA officials also noted that policyholders who believe they received an unfair payout can appeal, but homeowners like Quinn said that process was slow and frustrating.
FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate will testify at the Senate subcommittee hearing on Wednesday. Menendez said today the hearing is the beginning of a process to drive help to people who were left without answers or received less-than-expected flood insurance settlements.