3 NY Insurers Being Investigated Re Sandy Claims

New York’s Department of Financial Services is said to be investigating three insurance providers in the state with regards to their claims practices following the aftermath of Sandy.

The announcement came from NY Governor Andrew Cuomo putting into the limelight insurers Kingstone Insurance Company, Narragansett Bay Insurance Company, and Tower Insurer Company which are being investigated for these companies had registered “much higher than average” number of complaints from state insurance consumers.

A news report from the Insurance Journal revealed that state insurance regulators are looking into the three insurance companies for there were reports that said insurers in some way failed to send adjusters and process claims of the policyholders in a timely manner, and in the alleged inability of the homeowners to contact representatives from their insurance company.

Following Sandy, the state of New York had been closely monitoring the number of complaints being lodged against insurance companies with results being published and updated. The results are indicated in a report card that assessed an insurer’s performance in claims processes.

Accordingly, insurance regulators revealed that complaints against Tower Insurance involved an allegation that consumers were not able to reach a company representative, that there was also delay on the processing of claims, and that the said insurer have “improperly denied claims” within the sewer backup endorsements.

As for Keystone, complaints against them involved a reported failure to send or to timely send an insurance adjuster, and denying claims on wind damage. There are also issues on delayed settlement and dispute in settlement amounts.

Moreover, there were frequent complaints against Narragansett Bay saying that their adjusters were unable to reach consumers, and that some failed to show up on scheduled appointments.

On the other hand, an Insurance Regulation in New York required that damaged property must be inspected within 15 business days after the filing of a claim, but for some storm victims, inspection time was shortened to only six business days.

Insurance companies operating in the said state are also being required to decide on a particular claim within 15 business days upon completion of the claim investigation. If they fail to meet the deadline, insurers must send a communication to the homeowners policyholder explaining the delay. The Department of Financial Services are asking insurance companies how many extension letters have they sent out, the reasons given and the projected completion time.

Gov. Cuomo pointed out the importance for people whose homes were devastated by the previous storm to immediately receive their insurance payment so as they can rebuild and return to their homes.