The victims of the superstorm will still have a wait, as the checks have been delayed for release.
Almost $208 million in homeowners insurance claims payments have now been approved, in the form of approximately 6,600 checks, but they have yet to be released in order to assist those policyholders who are waiting
According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the checks are at the banks, but they haven’t been sent out.
Cuomo explained that his administration is currently working with the banks in order to help to make sure that the homeowners insurance payments are sent out more quickly to the policyholders who are waiting for them. The claims payments are required to cut through a mass of bureaucratic procedures and processes when policyholders have mortgaged properties.
The banks are said to be cooperating to try to send out the homeowners insurance payments as quickly as possible.
The superintendant of State Financial Services, Ben Lawsky, explained that the banks are in full cooperation in working to try to bring the payments to the victims of superstorm Sandy more quickly, so that these individuals will be able to pay for the required repairs. He stated that his office has already been contacted by hundreds of homeowners insurance customers who have complaints over the length of time that it is taking.
A great deal of the delay that homeowners insurance customers are facing have to do with federal mortgage agencies which require that the property owner provides proof that the work is being done, or that it has been done, before the reimbursements are issued.
Cuomo spoke of the mortgage accounts management companies, saying that “After insurance companies have sent homeowners checks to pay for repairs, the money should not be sitting with (banks and other lenders) because of red tape.” He also added that “Servicers need to use maximum discretion to get money into homeowners’ hands as quickly as possible.”
Lawsky also said that homeowners companies and banks – which are organizations that his office regulates – are working together in an attempt to make this process much faster to complete. Some of these organizations have simply added a larger number of people to complete the required tasks. Other efforts include the electronic transmission of payments, instead of issuing paper checks that must be mailed.