Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that insurance companies will have to six days instead of 15 days to send adjusters to homes and businesses impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Gannett’s Haley Viccaro reports.
Online report cards will also be created detailing insurance company’s performance following the storm, Cuomo said at a news conference. He said insurers need to speed up the process for homeowners and businesses to make repairs to damage caused by the Oct. 29 storm.
“The problem is one of just scale and quantity,” Cuomo said. “You have about 360,000 people that have insurance claims right now, so you can imagine the overwhelming task of getting 360,000 claims adjudicated and administered in a relatively short period of time.”
The number of adjusters statewide has increased following Cuomo’s executive order to provide temporary licenses to out-of-state insurance adjusters. Cuomo said there are 16,800 out-of-state adjusters who already received temporary licenses, which more than doubles the amount in the state.
The new claim investigation regulation also encourages the immediate repair to heating systems and electrical connections for properties to retain heat and protect the health and safety of individuals. Cuomo said if homeowners keep records of the repairs they make, insurance companies would cover the cost.
“If it is a health or safety issue the homeowner can precede without an adjuster coming to the house,” Cuomo said. “The homeowner has to keep records, has to keep pictures, has to keep a record of the parts that are replaced and has to keep all receipts.”
Cuomo said that the Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky will enforce regulations that require insurance companies not to cancel or terminate homeowners’ and business owners’ policies in areas affected by Sandy for another 21 days through Dec. 15.
It applies to individuals in the Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
Insurance company report cards will allow people to view the performance of their insurers in the form of a grade. Companies will be graded on the number of claims, average time of inspections and number of consumer complaints, Lawsky and Cuomo said.
“Homeowners and businesses have the right to know how their insurers are performing and how quickly the companies are handling claims,” Lawsky said in a statement.
The Department of Financial Services will have report cards on insurance companies including Liberty Mutual, Allstate, State Farm, and others.
The report cards of insurance company’s performance will be updated regularly and can be found at http://www.NYInsure.ny.gov.