Additional Regulations in New York that Benefit the Policyholder Post-Sandy and Hold Insurance Companies Accountable
As part of further efforts to help policyholders in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Cuomo and New York's Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued several new regulations geared towards improving the performance of insurance companies.
In order to expedite Sandy-related insurance claims, the time frame in which insurance companies must send an adjuster to inspect a claim has been shortened. Under the old rule, insurance companies had 15 business days to start investigating claims. The new regulation requires investigation to begin within 6 business days after a claim is made.
"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."
In addition, the DFS launched a new on-line report card system assessing the performance of insurance companies in their response to the disaster and payment of claims. Report cards are published for each insurance company operating in areas affected by Sandy and are updated regularly. Insurance companies include Allstate, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide, State Farm and many others. The report cards key on:
- The number of claims
- The number of claims closed WITH payment
- The number of claims closed WITHOUT payment
- The average time (in days) from the date of claim report to the date of inspection
- The number of adjusters working in the field on losses related to Sandy
- The total number of complaints and as a percentage of number of claims
According to the Superintendent for the DFS, "The performance of insurance companies after a storm like Sandy is incredibly important. Homeowners and businesses have the right to know how their insurers are performing and how quickly the companies are handling claims."
I could not agree more.