September 16, 2008
FLOOD INSURANCE AGREEMENT REACHED FOR
Charlotte, NC – Nearly all residents of the flood-damaged Cavalier Apartments whose insurance was in question can now begin making claims. Mecklenburg County’s Storm Water Services staff announced today that of 28 Cavalier families whose insurance status had been unclear:
· Four families’ losses will be covered by flood insurance
· 21 families will be treated as if they had insurance coverage
· Three families will not have their losses covered.
After the August 27 flood, some residents of damaged Cavalier units who thought they had flood insurance were informed by the insurance company that their policies were not in effect. County Storm Water staff conducted an extensive review of the residents’ flood insurance applications and the application process. Also, Storm Water staff had detailed discussions with THC, Inc., the County’s consultant retained to perform tenant relocation assistance; with Brown & Glenn Realty, the subconsultant hired to operate the complex; and with D.G. Smith & Company, Inc., the local insurance broker.
Of the three Cavalier families whose flood losses will not be covered, one did not sign the required paperwork to request insurance. The other two signed the requests in late July, too late to meet the required 30-day waiting period before the flood insurance policy could take effect.
Of the remaining 25 families, the insurance company agreed to renew four of the flood insurance policies immediately. The remaining 21 claims are being processed by Mecklenburg County as if they had insurance coverage and will be settled among the County, THC, Brown & Glenn, and D.G. Smith & Company. Claims for 80% of the 21 families will be handled by the three private companies, with the County covering the remaining 20% of claims. The County’s share of covering residents’ flood losses at the Cavalier Apartments will not exceed approximately $36,000. The exact amount depends on the depreciated value of residents’ damaged property.
Mecklenburg County took ownership of the Cavalier Apartments on June 24, 2008, as part of the County’s voluntary Floodplain Buyout Program. Residents were to move out in the late summer and fall, with the apartment buildings torn down by early 2009, and the land restored as open space. Upon taking ownership, Mecklenburg County offered to continue Cavalier Apartments’ policy of paying one year’s worth of flood insurance premiums for any resident who signed paperwork requesting that coverage.
As of today, more than 90% of the 192 units at the Cavalier Apartments are vacant. Leases were terminated because of the disaster. All residents have been asked to move as soon as possible, but no later than September 18. THC, Inc., continues to assist the remaining residents to find new housing. Because of concerns about flood-related mold, bacteria and other health risks, residents are no longer allowed to personally enter their apartments to retrieve belongings. The management company is retrieving items from damaged units on behalf of former residents when possible.