Property owners in New York and New Jersey are now learning the hard way that their homeowner’s insurance doesn’t do much in the way of protecting against flood damage, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Because the region is not generally prone to flooding, many don’t have flood insurance, which is required for holders of federally-backed mortgages who live seaside. And for the most part, standard homeowner's policies don’t cover flood damage.
The Journal spoke with Morris Portnoy, a 66-year-old retiree who is dealing with a flooded basement in the home he has occupied in Canarsie for the past 40 years. Portnoy said the area is not classified as a flood zone, but water from the Jamaica Bay rushed into his home, destroying his car, finished basement, boiler, washing machine and dryer.
Portnoy received $4,400 from FEMA, but repairs on his home could cost as much as $30,000.
Last week, Gov. Andrew Cuomo launched the Empire State Relief Fund to raise money for individuals and families struggling to repair their homes.
Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, D-Brooklyn, said the flood insurance problem will have to addressed, and that he hoped the state or the federal government would eventually approve aid for those without the proper insurance policies.
"There were people living in the Canarsie community who were not necessarily told that they needed flood insurance because while they were in a vulnerable zone, they were not in the area most susceptible to flooding” Jeffries told the Journal.