Homeowners insurance continues to be a problem after Hurricane Sandy
For the past several months, New York residents have been struggling to recover from the impact of Hurricane Sandy. Though the hurricane struck the state in late October 2012, the damage it has caused continues to linger due to the lack of funds needed for the recovery effort. Some victims of the powerful storm have seen their claims denied by their insurance companies, but the vast majority have experienced delays in their homeowners insurance payments; delays that have slowed recovery to a crawl.
Insurers approve funds, but banks keep them from consumers
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has been pressuring the state’s homeowners insurance companies to process and issue claims payments more quickly for the sake of recovery. Many insurers have been resisting this pressure, suggesting that the high volume of claims required payment issuance to be staggered so as to avoid financial complications. Despite some resistance, however, homeowners insurance companies are beginning to honor claims, yet funds have yet to reach the majority of Hurricane Sandy victims. The state’s banks are now being targeted by Governor Cuomo, who is looking to aggressively resolve the issue in the near future.
$208 million on its way to Hurricane Sandy victims
Early this week, Governor Cuomo announced that more than $208 million in homeowners insurance payments have been released by some of the state’s banks. These funds will be making their way to victims of Hurricane Sandy to aid in the recovery effort. In many cases, these funds were approved by insurance companies only a matter of weeks after the impact of the powerful storm, but have lingered in bureaucratic limbo since then. The New York Department of Financial Services has received thousands of complaints from consumers regarding the issue, which sparked a regulatory investigation that pushed the funds through banks.
Bureaucratic hurdles to be addressed in coming months
Governor Cuomo is now targeting banks in an effort to expedite the recovery effort. The Governor believes that homeowners insurance payments are subject to too many bureaucratic hurdles that force the state’s residents to live in squalor for months before they can receive the financial aid they are due according to their insurance policies. Removing some of these hurdles in the wake of a major natural disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy, may be a way to solve some of the problems concerning the recovery effort.