PolitickerNJ Wire Feed

By Trish Graber | February 4th, 2013 - 7:28pm
| More

Measures Address Problems Uncovered In Sandy’s Aftermath

TRENTON – Two bills sponsored by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Nia H. Gill to help improve the homeowners insurance claims process for New Jersey residents by addressing problems encountered by consumers in the aftermath of Sandy were approved today by the committee.

“Homeowners who were already dealing with the stress of major property damage, and in many cases absolute devastation, in the aftermath of Sandy encountered additional problems when they attempted to recoup their losses through the insurance claims process,” said Senator Gill (D-Essex/Passaic). “In some instances, homeowners learned their policy did not include flood insurance and, therefore, could not receive compensation from their insurer. In other instances, homeowners who sought public adjusters to help them navigate the insurance claims process were asked to pay exorbitant prices for the service. We have to make sure these kinds of issues do not occur again and that homeowners are safeguarded against unnecessary property or monetary loss going forward.”

In the aftermath of Sandy, many impacted New Jersey residents have been denied claims made to their insurance company because their policy did not cover certain events. Some residents believed they had been paying for flood insurance only to find out after Sandy devastated their home that they, in fact, never had flood insurance. In addition, after the storm some residents who sought public adjusters to help with the claims process said they were asked to pay hefty fees for the service, some up to five times the fee typically charged, according to information from the state Department of Banking and Insurance. The senator noted that her bills seek to address both problems and ensure that New Jersey residents are treated fairly during the insurance claims process.

The first bill (S-2502) would require insurance companies to make policies more clear for policy holders by requiring a one-page summary of the policy, including notable coverages and exclusions under the policy, in the informational brochure currently provided to consumers. The one page summary is intended to bring homeowners’ attention to important aspects of their policy related to natural disasters, such as hurricane deductibles and flood insurance.

The second bill (S-2472) would cap the fees public adjusters are allowed to charge. After Sandy, the state Department of Banking and Insurance received complaints that some adjusters – which are hired by the policy holder to advocate on their behalf and to ease the claims process – were charging a fee of up to 50% of the homeowner’s insurance claim settlement. The average fee nationally ranges from 10 percent to 15 percent. The bill would cap allowable fees at 12.5 percent of the gross settlement. With this measure, New Jersey would join a number of other states, including New York, that cap public adjuster fees.

“It important that homeowners understand their policy coverage limits before a natural disaster occurs, and that if they decide to hire an adjuster to help with the claims process after a storm they are not charged unreasonable fees for the service,” said Senator Gill. “These are commonsense reforms that will address both matters. Ultimately, they will ensure consumers are better informed and protected in the event they incur damage to their property and must file an insurance claim in the future.”

S-2502 was approved by a vote of 6-0; S-2472 was approved by a vote of 5-0-1. Both bills now head to the full Senate for a vote.

Contact Info: 

Trish Graber

NJ Senate Majority Office

609-847-3700

www.njsendems.com

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources