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NY Singles Out Unresponsive Insurers Post Sandy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

WNYC

Thousands of Sandy victims have complained since soon after the storm struck that their insurance companies were failing to help them in a timely manner.  Now, New York State’s Department of Financial Services has vindicated those complaints – at least somewhat.

Thousands of Sandy victims have complained since soon after the storm struck that their insurance companies were failing to help them in a timely manner. Now New York State’s Department of Financial Services has vindicated those complaints – at least somewhat.

The DFS has issued a report that singled out three insurance firms for being unresponsive to their customers post Sandy.

"The [three] companies are just overall not being responsive and not moving quickly enough," said New York State’s Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky.

The State has been tabulating the number of complaints against insurers and assessing insurance companies’ performance in responding to the disaster and paying claims.  View the report here

Overall, New York State reported that 24 companies have received almost 390,000 claims and have closed more than 68,000 without paying as of Feb. 15. More than 270,000 claims have been paid out since Sandy.

Some companies could face fines if they don't resolve various issues like failing to send adjusters out to look at properties, or failing to process consumer claims in a timely manor.

"Depending on the conduct it can be $1,000 per violation to 5,000 per violation, but depending on the company and how many people involved you could have hundreds of thousands of violations," said Lawsky.

The three firms singled out are Narragansett Bay Insurance company, Tower Insurance company and Kingstone Insurance company. They could not immediately be reached for comment.

Narragansett Bay Insurance Company issued a statement late Thursday in response to the investigation from New York State’s Department of Financial Services.

“NBIC has responded to all requests for information from the department. We believe the discussions with the Department have been productive, and we look forward to continuing our posture of cooperation with them as they continue their review,” it said.

Editors:

Julianne Welby

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