New York Insurance Association Confirms Swift Insurer Response to Sandy Claims

November 30, 2012

Governor Cuomo announced several regulatory changes today that the New York Insurance Association (NYIA) views as unnecessary.

“We agree with the Governor that those affected by Sandy need to have their claims addressed in a timely manner,” Ellen Melchionni, president of NYIA said. “As the Governor mentioned there is an historic volume of claims as a result of this storm. Given the circumstances, insurance companies are doing their best to respond as quickly as possible. The report card issued by the Governor shows that companies are doing an outstanding job. The insurance industry will continue to work diligently to address the more than 330,000 claims filed by New Yorkers in the wake of Sandy.”

It is important for insurance companies to fully review claims to ensure all legitimate claims are paid quickly and fairly. Every claim is unique and different. Some can be settled very quickly while complex claims may take longer to review.

“Insurance companies were ready from day one to help policyholders in the aftermath of the storm,” Melchionni said. “Insurance exists to provide financial security for individuals during times of need. Companies are upholding their commitments to policyholders, providing coverage in accordance with what is outlined in each individual policy. We have mobilized all of our forces and used every available resource to help those affected by this storm.”

Unlike what has occurred in neighboring states, Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Financial Services have imposed numerous mandates on how insurance companies must operate in response to Sandy. “The insurance industry has made every effort to work with state officials and comply with the variety of continually changing guidelines and orders that have been issued by New York regulators,” Melchionni said. “The main focus of companies though has been to help policyholders during this crisis situation.”

Several different types of insurance apply to the damage caused by Sandy. NYIA advises that it is important for those affected by the storm to know the type(s) of insurance they have and how they can receive assistance. Individuals should contact their agent or company representative with questions about their policy.

Most homeowners, renters and commercial policies provide coverage for losses caused by wind and fallen trees. Damage caused by flood and storm surge is only potentially covered if an individual has purchased separate flood insurance, which is primarily available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a federal government program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

SOURCE: New York Insurance Association

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