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Sandy homeowners wait anxiously for insurance payments

Fri Dec 7th, 2012 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

It happens frequently in Florida after storms and hurricanes, and now homeowners in New York are feeling the frustration. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are still waiting for their payments from their insurance companies. For most, it has been weeks and weeks since they filed their claims, and they still have yet to see a check.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has publicly reprimanded insurance companies for taking so long to process the insurance claims of people who lost it all in Hurricane Sandy, but it appears that is not enough to speed up their processing. At this point, 330,000 people in New York are waiting on insurance payments, many shut out of their homes and forced to find alternative lodging.

Unfortunately, insurance companies have something to gain from delaying insurance payments. Each day that the insurance payment is delayed, the insurance company is able to collect interest on the money. For this reason, insurance companies sometimes do things to extend the process as long as possible — perhaps by sending out multiple insurance adjusters, consulting an expert or requesting further information from homeowners.

One homeowner whose Rockaway Beach, New York, property was destroyed in Hurricane Sandy said she had to wait until Dec. 1 for an insurance adjuster to even perform the inspection. The homeowner said she is anxious to move back into her home, but right now her home is in no living condition. She has a contractor lined up and ready to do work, but the contractor can’t start until the adjuster comes.

Additionally, the homeowner said she has spent $20,000 so far out of her own savings, help from family and some money from Federal Emergency Management Authority housing assistance to work on the home. Next, she will have to take out credit cards to pay for repairs. All of this trouble for a homeowner who had “good” homeowners’ insurance coverage.

Source: Fox Business, “After Sandy: Houseless, Until the Insurance Money Kicks in,” Cynthia Ramnarace, Dec. 7, 2012

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