Updated 12/14/2012 11:35 PM
Gerritsen Beach Homeowner Frustrated With Insurance Process
It's a waiting game for many storm victims here in the city, as they have filed hundreds of thousands of claims with insurance companies, while some have even filed complaints about their insurance carriers. NY1's Michael Herzenberg spoke with one frustrated homeowner in Gerritsen Beach and filed the following report.
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David Micucci's taking out some frustration just to pull up what's under the flooded floor he has yet to replace. He stripped most of his house and he's living with his in-laws.
"My 2-year-old son is telling me, 'Daddy, my house is broken, my house is broken. When are you going to fix my house?'" he said.
His answer is what you'd expect.
"'Daddy's working on it, daddy's working on it,'" he said.
It's not completely true, though, because all he can do is wait. His homeowner's policy denied his claim of wind damage to his broken windows, damaged roof and falling-down carport, and after several cancellations, the federal flood insurance program adjuster showed up this week. Now, the Micuccis wait to find out how much they'll get.
"It's tough because, you know, we're just looking for answers at this point," Micucci said.
Jeanne Salvatore speaks for an insurance educational non profit funded by insurance companies.
"It's understandable that people are upset," Salvatore said. "There's been over 1 million claims filed in the region, and in the city itself, there have been 400,000 claims. And of those claims, less than half of 1 percent have been complaints.
Salvatore said customers should keep a diary of every insurance official with whom they speak, and document and take pictures of everything.
It's something the Micuccis have already done, and they hired a public adjuster to fight their insurance company for them. But the adjuster will take more than 10 percent of the payout.
"It's already denied, so whatever they can get us, I guess would help," Micucci said.
After the story aired Thursday night, Dave Micucci called NY1 on Friday to say, "oh boy, do you guys work wonders." He said that a vice president from Interboro Insurance called him personally on Friday to explain that the denial was a partial denial and that he would receive $20,000.
A representative from Interboro also responded to NY1's Thursday night inquiry on Friday. He said the damage to the car port, roof and windows, as well as miscellaneous damage, is covered by insurance. The insurance company said it sent the family a check this week.
David Micucci also told NY1 that he doesn't believe the $20,000 will cover all of his losses related to wind, but that it will certainly help.
For complaints about homeowners' insurance, go to the New York State Department of Financial Services website at dfs.ny.gov.
For complaints about the National Flood Insurance Program, go to floodsmart.gov.