If you are one of the 360,000 New Yorkers trying to get insurance claims paid in the aftermath of Sandy this may help. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued new regulations that require insurance companies to respond to claims within 6 days rather than 15 days. And to avoid further health and safety issues, Cuomo’s orders allow you to repair essential systems like heating, hot water and electrical immediately without waiting for claims to be settled.
The state is also authorizing qualified, out-of-state public adjusters to get temporary N.Y. licenses to work in the state. More than 16,800 out-of-state adjusters have received temporary licenses.
Cuomo says his team will keep tabs on what the insurance companies do. His Department of Financial Services, (DFS) will create report cards and publish them at www.NYInsure.ny.gov. They’ll look at:
Number of claims and dollar amount of claims
Average time for an adjuster to inspect
Number of claims closed with and without payment so far
Total number of consumer complaints
Number of complaints as a percentage of number of claims
“In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, it is vital that New Yorkers receive their claim settlements as soon as possible, so that they can rebuild their homes, businesses and lives,” said Governor Cuomo. “There simply is no substitute for speed when it comes to insurance payouts after a storm. We must do everything possible to make sure we hold insurance companies accountable to their customers. Today’s actions do just that.”
You’ll also get a grace period for making insurance payments. New York’s Department of Financial Services will continue the moratorium barring insurance companies from cancelling or terminating homeowners’ and small business owners’ insurance policies in storm stricken areas for any reason, including non-payment of premiums, for an additional 21 days through December 15.
This executive order and moratorium applies to residents and business owners in Bronx, Kings, Nassau New York, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
These are the insurance companies that will be graded:
- Liberty Mutual
- FM Global
- State Farm
- Utica National
- Narraganset Bay Insurance Company
- New York Central Mutual
- Amtrust Financial
- Adirondack Insurance Exchange