Article By: Catherine Dunn, International Business Times
The winter after Hurricane Sandy tore through their Long Beach, New York, neighborhood and filled the streets with thick sand, Deborah Ramey and her husband Robert Kaible tried desperately to reach their flood insurance carrier. They called Wright National Flood Insurance dozens of times. The yellow house they owned and rented to tenants, one block from the ocean, did not look right.
To Kaible's eye, the floors had shifted. He had to bust down the back door just to open it. A city inspector recommended the home be torn down, and valued it at $205,000. Yet their insurer, after sending an engineer to inspect, had agreed to pay them only about $60,000. A report the couple received was particularly troubling: It chalked up the uneven floors and leaning walls to "long-term" deterioration – not flooding.
Finally, the insurer agreed to send an engineer to take another look. To Kaible's surprise, it was the same man who'd showed up about six weeks earlier from an engineering firm called U.S. Forensic. According to Kaible's testimony in federal court last fall, he confronted the engineer about the document the couple had received from the insurance company.
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