New Yorkers whose homes were damaged by earth movement in recent hurricanes and tropical storms will get help from the state to rebuild.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state's Housing Recovery Program will fully compensate homeowners for the repair costs. The decision affects residents whose homes were damaged by Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee or Superstorm Sandy.
Insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program does not cover damage from earth movement, which includes landslides, mudflows, earthquakes, rising or sinking, even if the movement was caused by flooding. Home and commercial insurance policies also typically exclude earth movement.
Hundreds of homeowners have had their flood insurance claims denied and have no place to live or resources to rebuild.
"Many New Yorkers were hopeful that they would be covered since they had purchased flood insurance," Seth Diamond, director of the Governor's Office of Storm Recovery, said in a press statement. "However, they were unaware of this NFIP rule regarding earth movements. …Now, these residents will be eligible to receive funding through the state's home rebuilding program instead, and their eligible rebuilding costs will be covered."
Cuomo created the Office of Storm Recovery in June to centralize recovery and rebuilding efforts in storm-impacted communities throughout the state. The office is working with local leaders to respond to the most urgent rebuilding needs and to identify long-term solutions to strengthen communities and limit impact of future storms.