November 2, 2012

NY, NJ and Conn.: No Hurricane Deductibles After Sandy

Storm didn't have hurricane-force winds, so deductibles don't apply, official says

On orders from New York’s governor, insurers will not apply the hurricane deductible to insurance claims from Hurricane Sandy.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (Photo: AP)This morning, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (left) issued a statement that “homeowners will not have to pay potentially large hurricane deductibles on insurance claims” from Monday’s storm.

The New York State Department of Financial Services has informed insurers, the statement says.

“Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm, and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled,” Cuomo says.

Hurricane deductibles can range from 1 percent to 5 percent on a Homeowners' policy. On a home insured for $300,000, the homeowner would have to pay for the first $15,000 of damage if the deductible was enforced.

Benjamin M. Lawsky, superintendent of financial services, says the deductibles are not being triggered because “Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made landfall in New York. We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims.”

He adds that the department will be sending its mobile command center to hard-hit areas to help consumers.

The department set up a Disaster Hotline to answer questions at 800-339-1759, Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The department also set up a website for consumers to file a complaint for unresolved disputes with insurers.

Yesterday, the Connecticut Department of Insurance issued a notice that because winds did not reach hurricane status at the time it hit the coast the hurricane deductible will not be imposed on the state’s homeowners.

NBC News reports New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Ken Kobylowski communicated the same to the insurance industry on Tuesday night.

Originally published on PropertyCasualty360. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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