The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is once again asking questions of insurers concerning their handling of Sandy claims. In the wake of Sandy, the regulators required periodic reports from insurers concerning claims. That process was suspended this summer. However, on September 26, 2013, Commissioner Kenneth E. Kobylowski issued this bulletin which once again requires insurers to report on their claims.
The Department indicates that it intends to review “claims on various types of coverage received through September 15, 2013 by property/casualty insurer groups with a total of $5,000,000 or more in written property/casualty insurance premiums in this State in order to assess the extent to which damages caused by the storm have affected the volume of claims submitted to such insurers.”
It is not known what the department intends to do with this information. However, as most readers of this blog know, the insurance industry’s handling of claims from Hurricane Sandy has been abysmal. As an example, this week I spent a full day at a client’s home for a re-inspection. This should have been a relatively straightforward claim, as a tree fell on their home. However, true to form, the carrier is looking for every excuse to delay and deny the claim. It is our hope that these sorts of systematic abuses are caught by the Department of Banking and Insurance as they sort through this data.