Quality Claims is a proud sponsor of the 98th annual Lipton Cup Challenge. Hosted by the San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC), the Lipton Cup regatta has been notorious for being a prestigious event for sailors in southern California. Catch a glimpse of the Quality sail this weekend at the San Diego Bay. For more information, visit: http://sdyc.org/
Friday, November 9, 2012
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Governor Cuomo Announces Homeowners Will Not Have to Pay Hurricane Deductibles
Department of Financial Services Working Closely with Insurers to Speed Response to Homeowners Who Experienced Losses
New Yorkers Can Call DFS Disaster Hotline for Help
Albany, NY (October 31, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York homeowners will not have to pay potentially large hurricane deductibles on insurance claims stemming from damage caused by Monday’s storm.
The New York State Department of Financial Services has informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles should not be triggered for this storm. This will prevent coastal homeowners from having to pay deductibles in their insurance policies.
“Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled,” Governor Cuomo said.
Many homeowners’ insurance policies for homes located in downstate areas contain hurricane deductibles based on a percentage of a property’s insured value. These deductibles typically range from one percent of a home’s insured value to five percent. So for example, with a five percent deductible on a home insured for $300,000, the homeowner would have to pay for the first $15,000 of damage.
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, said, “We have informed the insurance industry that hurricane deductibles are not triggered because Sandy did not have sustained hurricane-force winds when it made land in New York. We will be working with insurers to help them respond as quickly as possible to homeowners who need to file claims. And we will be sending our mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.”
DFS urges homeowners who experienced property losses to file insurance claims with their insurers promptly and as soon as possible after losses occur. It is important to provide policy numbers and all information relevant to the loss. To best document losses, homeowners should to take photos or videos showing the extent of the losses before cleaning up damage.
Homeowners should make only necessary repairs to prevent further damage to property, like covering broken windows. Permanent repairs should not be made until after insurers have inspected losses. Damaged personal property should be kept until after an insurance settlement has been reached.
In addition, homeowners should cooperate fully with their insurer and keep a diary of all conversations with the insurance agent, including the agent’s name, as well as the times and dates of all calls or visits.
Homeowners are also reminded that flood damage is only covered by flood insurance, which is a federal program administered by FEMA. Homeowners who have flood insurance and have flood damage should make claims through that insurance.
DFS will be sending its mobile command center to hard hit areas to help consumers with insurance questions and problems.
DFS has activated a Disaster Hotline to answer consumer questions and help with problems. The Disaster Hotline number is 800-339-1759. It is staffed Monday – Friday from 8 AM – 8 PM and Saturday - Sunday from 9 AM – 4 PM.
Homeowners unable to resolve disputes with insurers can file complaints at http://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/fileacomplaint.htm.
National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NAPIA Offers Tips to Consumers for Hurricane Sandy Insurance Claims
Potomac Falls, Virginia (October 29, 2012) – With Hurricane Sandy wreaking havoc up and down the east coast, members of the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) offer the following tips to property owners who may experience property loss as a result of the storm:
- Immediately consider the use of a public adjuster to help you settle a claim. Public adjusters work for consumers, interacting with insurance companies and their independent adjusters to fairly and timely settle claims. In a storm such as Sandy, there may be an effort by insurers to settle claims quickly; a public adjuster can assure that the settlement is also consistent with the terms of your coverage.
- Due to the type of storm this is, your policy may have a deductible that applies to hurricanes. This can be a tricky and complex area to navigate as it is often difficult to determine which deductible may apply -- this will depend on numerous factors and the specific timeline of events of the loss.
· Check to make sure that the public insurance adjuster you do select is licensed if the local jurisdiction requires it (45 states currently have a licensing statute), and know if your jurisdiction has limits on the fees that can be charged by a licensed adjuster. In many cases, fees may be capped given the size of the storm and the number of claims it produces.
· Ask the public adjuster for their professional qualifications, past experience and whether they have been cited by their regulators for poor or unethical performance before you sign anything;
· Know that insurers cannot prohibit a property owner from utilizing the services of a public insurance adjuster;
· Understand that independent adjusters and insurance company adjusters represent the interests of the insurance company, and do not represent the interests of the claimant.
· Be aware that many contractors, roofers and others hold themselves out as public adjusters, and that the unauthorized practice of public adjusting is illegal in many states.
Check to see if your public adjuster is a member of NAPIA by visiting www.napia.com or by calling 1-703-433-9217. Also, do not hesitate to contact NAPIA or your local state insurance department if you believe that a public adjuster is acting improperly or someone is acting like an adjuster without a license.
“We hold our members to the highest standards of ethical conduct and professionalism,” said NAPIA President Ronald Reitz, CPPA. “With meteorologists calling for this storm to cause severe property damage, consumers should not hesitate to reach out to our members should they need any assistance in filing their insurance claims.”
Public Adjusters are experts on property loss adjustment who are retained by policyholders to assist in preparing, filing and adjusting insurance claims. Employed exclusively by a policyholder who has sustained an insured loss, these professionals manage every detail of the claim, working closely with the insured to provide the most equitable and prompt settlement possible. A Public Adjuster inspects the loss site immediately, analyzes the damages, assembles claim support data, reviews the insured's coverage, determines current replacement costs and exclusively serves the client, not the insurance company. To find a member of NAPIA who can assist you in preparing your claim, visit http://www.napia.com/search/index.asp.
NAPIA strongly encourages the public to reach out to their insurance departments or other regulators of public adjusters to know more about the critical role that public adjusters play, or to report concerns over the actions of parties purporting to be public adjusters. The public can also reach out to NAPIA with any questions or concerns by calling 1-703-433-9217.
To read NAPIA’s Top Ten Tips for Maximizing Claims After a Storm or Natural Disaster, visit http://www.napia.com/news/documents/NAPIAStormTipPressRelease.pdf.
Founded in 1951, the National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (NAPIA) promotes the highest standards of professional education, conduct and ethics in the field of public insurance adjusting. NAPIA’s 750 plus members are committed to working in the best interest of their client – the policyholder – and to conducting business with honesty and integrity. To find out more about the association, please visit www.napia.com.
Marjorie Musick, Director of Communications and Events