St. Augustine homeowners frustrated by Hurricane Mathew recovery, blame flood insurance program

On Your Side: Insurance slow to pay restorations

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Dianne Bernard has a three bedroom, two bath home she has been trying to restore since Hurricane Mathew.

"The dumpster was there a month before they put anything in it," she said. Bernard is very unhappy with the pace of her home restoration.

"I've cry myself to sleep at night," she said. "I've prayed a lot. It has been difficult." She and her husband have been living in a camper trailer; they were hoping to be back in their home by now.

"All we have is plywood flooring and a little bit of framing that's it," Bernard said. "They have been paid $44,000 up to this point." It turns out that Bernad is not the only one in her current condition.

Several other property owners along St. Augustine's Menendez Road has had problems getting their restoration finished. Richard Ayoub is a professional adjuster looking into the issues

"It is all over the place," he said.

Grace Construction is the company Bernard hired to restore her home.

A representative for the company said the problem is the National Flood Insurance Program. He said it is not paying claims in a timely manner, but they will finish Bernard's home and then fight with the Flood insurance program.

"There's not that much left to do, they can have a crew in here and have it knocked out in a couple of days," said Bernard. So how many have received a final inspection? Not many.

"The structures that were substantially damaged will require a Certificate of Completion stating that they now meet the requirements of the floodplain management ordinance. I have issued only one so far, for a house that was demolished. The ones that are being raised, they will receive a Certificate of Occupancy after the completion of construction. I have not issued any of them yet because none of that construction is completed."

There has been complaints about the flood damage assessments by the National Flood Insurance Program. The program did not respond to our emails. Florida's Department of Financial Services heads the state insurance office and is willing to investigate the homeowners' complaints.

They are encouraged to file a complaint now at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236)

© 2017 WTLV-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment