The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis M. Sweeney Special Master
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION CONCERNING THE WAIVER CLAIM OF MICHAEL D. AND CLARA E. CROCETTI
This constitutes the Report and Recommendation to the Court concerning the waiver claim of Michael D. and Clara E. Crocetti pursuant to Part 1.f of the Memorandum Order of the Court (Document 467). In preparing this report, the Special Master reviewed the motions, memoranda, affidavits and exhibits provided in connection with the process specified in the Memorandum Order. As necessary, the Special Master also reviewed other documents that are part of the Court filings in this case. The Special Master was also provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA") the computer disc of the "appropriate documents of record" for this claim, as specified in Part 1.a of the Memorandum Order. In this case, the documents consist of 71 pages labeled FEMA-000001 to 000071.
Plaintiffs' property located at 2026 Kurtz Avenue, Pasadena, Maryland, was insured by Allstate under Policy Number 18034672587, with $157,700.00 in building coverage subject to a $5,000.00 deductible. FEMA-000069. On September 18, 2003, Hurricane Isabel struck Maryland, and Plaintiffs' home was damaged by flooding. See FEMA-000001 through FEMA-000009.
On September 19, 2003, Plaintiffs notified Allstate of their loss. See FEMA-000055. On September 20, 2003, Allstate had an independent adjuster inspect Plaintiffs' home. Id. Plaintiffs filed a Proof of Loss ("POL") with Allstate in accordance with the independent adjuster's findings, claiming $6,961.84 in damages from flooding. See FEMA-000059. On December 30, 2008, Allstate issued a check to Plaintiffs for $6,961.84 per their POL. See FEMA-000038. Plaintiffs provided two statements as to the full cost of repair or replacement with their waiver application for $2,903.37 and $2,895.35 that are unsigned by the insured. See FEMA-000013 and FEMA-000014. FEMA asserts there is no record of receipt of the statement for $2,903.37 and claims it is not consistent with Plaintiffs' POL at Line 5. See FEMA-000059.
Plaintiffs' supplemental claim for full cost to repair or replace in the amount of $2,895.35 (consistent with their POL at Line 5; see FEMA-000059) was authorized for payment, and on April 19, 2004, Allstate paid that amount. See FEMA-000042 and FEMA-000040.
Plaintiffs requested review by the Hurricane Isabel Task Force ("Task Force"), and the claim was subsequently reviewed. See FEMA-000028. The Task Force determined that Plaintiffs were not entitled to any additional compensation under their flood policy. Id. Plaintiffs did not submit any other supplemental claims or proofs of loss under their Standard Flood Insurance Policy ("SFIP") coverage prior to the filing of the waiver claim.
II. Waiver Claim and Denial
On February 25, 2008, Plaintiffs submitted an application for a waiver requesting an additional $12,541.22 in compensation. See FEMA-000005. On August 18, 2008, FEMA notified the Plaintiffs that their waiver claim was denied.
III. Reasons for Waiver Denial
In the Supplemental Declaration of Karen Christian with Respect to the Claim of Michael and Clara Crocetti (Document 482-2) at -¶-¶14-18, the reasons for the denial of the waiver request are explained:
Plaintiffs failed to identify any specific provision of the SFIP they wanted waived.
Plaintiffs' waiver application did not include line item documentation or a supplemental proof of loss explaining how their alleged uncompensated damages were the result of direct physical loss by or from flood as required by their SFIP or certifying a supplemental claim.
It is Plaintiffs burden to prove their losses and provide sufficient documentation. See 44 C.F.R. Pt. 61, App. A (1), Section VII (J). Plaintiffs were paid in full on every proof of loss they submitted prior to the filing of the lawsuit and there is no information contained within Plaintiffs' ...