Did your insurance company unfairly delay, deny, or under-compensate your Hurricane Sandy insurance claim? You may be eligible for thousands of dollars more than your insurance company has offered to pay. There are specific steps you need to take to protect your claim and secure your right to fair compensation.
December 4, 2012 — Disputes likely to arise about whether insurance covers Hurricane Sandy damage due to wind or flood. Click here to read more.
November 30, 2012 — New York Governor Cuomo announces new rules to help regulate and expedite adjustment of Hurricane Sandy insurance claims. Click here to read more.
November 28, 2012 — New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has received 491 complaints, including 17 formal complaints that have been assigned investigators. Many complaints involve insurance companies that are failing to act quickly to help insured homeowners. Click here to read more.
November 27, 2012 — Was your Hurricane Sandy insurance claim denied or rejected? Click here to read more.
November 26, 2012 — Insurance companies are estimated to be liable for $22 billion in insured losses. Click here to read more.
November 14, 2012 — Flood insurance claims to the federal National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are expected to exceed $7 billion, which is much higher than the $3 billion in debt the program is allowed to add to its $18 billion debt following Hurricane Katrina. More than 115,000 Hurricane Sandy insurance claims have already been filed, and thousands more are being filed every day. Click here to read more.
November 6, 2012 — With insured losses expected to be between $10-20 billion, it is possible that claims will exceed available funds. Many claims could be denied or under-compensated in the coming months, as hundreds of thousands of claims are filed. Click here to read more.
Hurricane Sandy Overview
Hurricane Sandy was one of the largest, deadliest, and most destructive storms to ever hit the East Coast. At the height of its power, Hurricane Sandy became a 900-mile-wide “super-storm” when it converged with a massive Arctic low-pressure system and abnormally high-tides due to a full moon.
Most hurricanes that reach the East Coast have a minimal storm surge because they approach from the south. Hurricane Sandy, however, boomeranged west — directly into New Jersey. When it made landfall on October 29, the storm brought a 7-12 foot storm surge, 95-mph wind, and 12.5 inches of rain.
The worst destruction occurred along low-lying coastal communities in New York and New Jersey. The storm surge (an abnormally high rise in sea-levels cause by offshore, hurricane-force winds) brought a wave of seawater that reached 12.5 feet in some areas. Many homes were flooded, and sections of the New York City subway system were submerged in corrosive seawater. At least 8.5 million people lost power. More than 100 people died. The estimated economic costs are $50 billion to the region.
Was Your Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claim Denied?
In the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, thousands of people have suffered severe property damage. Insurance companies are estimated to be liable for $10-20 billion in insured losses. Most people trust their insurance company to handle their claim in “good faith.” Unfortunately, in some cases, insurance companies overlook or under-compensate valid insurance claims, which may include:
- Personal property losses (food, clothing, furniture, etc.)
- Structural damage to your home
- Exterior property damage (fallen trees, etc)
- Roof damage
- Wind damage (including broken windows)
- Fire damage
- Vehicle damage
- Water, rain, flooding, and storm surge damage
- Electrical and plumbing damage
- And more
No Hurricane Deductible for Sandy Victims
In an unusual situation, government officials in New York and New Jersey have announced that homeowners should not have to pay thousands of dollars in hurricane deductibles, because Hurricane Sandy was downgraded to a “Post-Tropical Cyclone” just before making landfall.
Hurricane deductibles are typically 1-5% of a home’s value. Homeowners are normally required to pay this deductible up-front before the insurance company pays for damages. However, because Hurricane Sandy did not have “sustained hurricane-force winds” just before it hit New Jersey, the storm technically was not a hurricane.
Protect Your Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claim
If you have suffered property damage as a result of Hurricane Sandy, experts recommend taking several steps to protect your claim:
- Contact your insurance company promptly, and file your claim as soon as possible after the loss occurs
- Provide your insurance company with policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss
- Make necessary repairs to prevent further damage (such as boarding up windows) but do not make permanent repairs until after your insurance company has inspected the loss
- Keep receipts and other documentation of your loss in a safe place
- Take photographs and videos of the extent of the damage before your clean up
- Keep damaged property until you have settled for the value of that property
- Keep a log of all conversations you have with your insurance agent — including the name of the agent, time, date, and subject