The federal government extended one flood insurance deadline, but another one came up this month resulting in increased premiums for thousands of homeowners hit hard by Sandy. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
Todd Bilgore says his whole staircase had to go as did his floor and subfloor. At least five feet of water washed through his Brooklyn home when Sandy hit. Since then, he, his wife and their two boys have been staying with his mother.
"It seems like almost an eternity," Bilgore said.
A 15-year FDNY paramedic, he says he can't afford the $100,000 in repairs. Flood insurance offered a payout of just $38,000.
"For me it's mind boggling what I've been dealt now. And we're trying to work with it," Bilgore said.
"I had flood insurance for up to $250,000, but FEMA, which is my insurance company, paid me only 27 [thousand]," said Boris Mantell, a Manhattan Beach resident.
Mantell says he fought and got more but he's still $100,000 in the hole. He was able to put up his own money for repairs. He came to a recent meeting in Manhattan Beach worried about the future.
Insurance expert Stuart Fries explained that the federal government extended its deadline for filing loss paperwork for an additional six months.
"This is where people have determined that they did not get enough money," Fries said.
They can now fight for more until the end of April. But this month people with second homes were hit with a 25 percent increase in flood insurance costs. Because of a change in the law before the storm, fees and flood insurance rates for many will increase eventually.
"This is what I'm trying to learn today. I really don't understand it that well," Mantell said.
"I just want to get back into the home and we'll try to deal with it then," Bilgore said.
Bilgore has his hands full with the immediate need of shelter. He says he battled the federal flood insurance adjusters and got an extra $10,000. So now, he's halfway to the hundred thousand dollars needed before his family has a home of their own again.
"I'd love to be back before Christmas, I mean that would be a great Christmas present for the whole family," Bilgore said.
Another big issue is the new flood elevation maps. Officials are not expected to approve them for at least a year, but they will force many to buy flood insurance that never had to before.