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Top FEMA Insurance Official Resigns; FEMA Sets Up Review Process For Sandy Claims

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Federal Emergency Management Agency officials have agreed to let Superstorm Sandy victims who think their insurance claims were not fairly paid out to undergo a review.

The review could include up to 144,000 claims and not limit corrective action to 2,200 that are currently in litigation.

A spokesman for FEMA says the agency is setting up a process for survivors to have claims reviewed. Every claim will not be automatically reviewed, as reported earlier.

The announcement comes following allegations of fraud involving the way some insurance companies assessed damage.

Earlier this month, Brad Kieserman, FEMA's deputy associate administrator for insurance, admitted on CBS' "60 Minutes" that homeowners may have been cheated out of millions in insurance money.

"I'm not going to sit here and conceal the fact that it happened because in the last three weeks I've seen evidence of it," Kieserman said.

LINK: More From "60 Minutes"

Bob Kaible, of Long Beach, Long Island, believes he may be a victim.

The city condemned his home after the storm. Kaible thought he'd be OK because he had flood insurance, but he told "60 Minutes," "I get the engineering report that there's no structural damage to the house. I'm like, 'What do you mean no structural damage?'"

Kaible claims the original engineer's report was altered by his insurance company.

Sens. Robert Menendez and Cory Booker of New Jersey and Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York met with FEMA administrator Craig Fugate on Wednesday.

FEMA also asked engineering and insurance firms to give survivors access to their engineering reports.

A Sandy task force is being formed to evaluate the nation's flood insurance program.

FEMA To Review Every Sandy Flood Insurance Claim Following Fraud Allegations

Doug Quinn and his teenage daughter have been out of their Toms River home since the October 2012 storm. Quinn said the insurance company rejected his damage claim based on an adjuster saying foundation cracks came before the storm.

The same thing was seen in other cases and Quinn doesn't think that's a coincidence.

"They [FEMA] probably orchestrated the whole thing," Quinn said.

He believes the agency put pressure on companies to deny claims like his, saying it's unlikely the adjusters and engineers in the cases "all followed similar tactics to get the same results of low balling claims on people," WCBS 880's Levon Putney reported.

Quinn said he's glad the reviews are happening, and he is "cautiously optimistic."

He hopes the national flood insurance program will be revamped for the sake of any future victims.

"So that no other Americans have to live through what Sandy survivors had to go through," Quinn said.

Insurers have denied any wrongdoing.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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