Superstorm Sandy raises a bunch of questions for many policyholders wondering if they are receiving the insurance benefits they are owed and how to go assert their rights to those benefits. I was asked by United Policyholders Executive Director Amy Bach to speak and answer those questions at a Roadmap to Recovery Workshop next Monday in Bay Head, New Jersey.
Here is the flyer for the event:
My friend, colleague, and often co-counsel, Larry Bathgate, is from Bay Head. His house and office were damaged by Superstorm Sandy. I have had the pleasure of helping him with his recovery. Larry is deeply concerned about the Jersey Shore communities and how they are being treated by the insurance companies. We represent the Borough of Bay Head in its insurance claims with Zurich Insurance Company.
Larry and I were with a New Jersey town administrator and his insurance consultant yesterday. The independent insurance adjuster wrote a three page letter to them explaining why the claims for property damage, extra expenses, and business income were not covered. These types of letters are the normal state of affairs in New Jersey. Rather than trying to analyze and help the policyholder find how the policy provides coverage, New Jersey policyholders are being fed a steady stream of "no" by their insurance adjusters.
In that case, while the denial was partially correct, the adjuster failed to cite policy language that covered part of the loss.
I wonder how many policyholders are simply giving up or not asking follow up questions?
I hope to see policyholders next Monday. Never hesitate to get a second opinion and ask the questions–"Is the adjuster right, and is there any way I can get paid?"