Home Insurers Still Dealing with Claims Issues from Hurricane Sandy

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  • A few years ago, Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey and swept up the coast to New York City and beyond, causing billions of dollars of damage. Today, many homeowners and small businesses are still dealing with insurance claims associated with the problem, and have had to take their policy providers to court after long, contentious battles over payouts. When these issues arise, it might be important for insurance agents to make sure they’re doing all in their power to explain the process to their clients, and do as much as possible to keep them happy.

    There have already been long legal battles over claims submitted in the wake of Sandy, with many homeowners alleging that their insurers didn’t give them as much money as they need to repair the damage to their properties, according to a report from National Public Radio. Instead, many insurers are fighting tooth and nail to protect themselves from these issues, and many are paying more in legal fees than the difference in the cost of the claim.

    How costly is this?
    Altogether, insurers could end up paying more than $100 million in legal fees to fight these court cases, the report said. Part of the reason for this, they claim, is that because a lot of these claims fall under flood insurance, this is more a matter of saving taxpayer dollars over the long run because of the legal precedent that acquiescing might establish.

    “The flood claim’s adjustor determines the amount payable on any claim based on very specific guidelines and rules established by the NFIP,” Don Griffin, who chairs a coalition of flood insurance companies contracted by the National Flood Insurance Program, told the news agency. “It may not be as an expensive as a claim as you might think for this time, but the next time it could be tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars. For other claims that would come, that would be similar.”

    There may be many reasons why a homeowner would be aggrieved about their insurance policies, but it’s an agent’s job to do as much as possible to soothe those concerns. Often, doing something as simple as keeping open lines of communication and taking some extra steps for educational purposes can go a long way toward making them feel better about their policy providers overall, because good customer service is often key to high satisfaction ratings and retention rates.