hurricane sandy claimsWith millions and millions of homeowners affected by the high winds and floods of hurricane Sandy, the run is on to capture the finite amount of resources that will be allocated to rebuild after the superstorm that was Hurricane Sandy.  The bulk of Hurricane Sandy claims will be property claims for wind and flood damage.  While one estimate for Hurricane Sandy damage was $80 billion, Hurricane Sandy property damage claims are expected now to top $50 billion.  Many are asking: where is the money going to come from to rebuild?  The answer to that question will depend on the type of damage and type of claim made by the insured, if insured.  The money to pay Hurricane Sandy claims will come primarily from private insurers, government agencies and from individual homeowners themselves.

Hurricane Sandy and Homeowner Claims

Estimates from the Consumer Federation of America show that private insurers will probably contribute only about 40% of the funds needed to rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.  This number sounds surprisingly low when one considers the fact that all homeowners must carry private insurance if they have a mortgage on their home. But, that said, many private insurers do not provide coverage for flood or hurricane damage.    Some of the flood damage will be covered by the National Flood Insurance Program.  But, with flood damage claims
expected to top $10 billion which more than doubles the National Flood Insurance Program’s $4 billion in authority to make payments on claims made by homeowners who suffered flood damage from Hurricane Sandy.

As many know, Hurricane Sandy was downgraded from a ‘Hurricane’ to a ‘Superstorm’ just before it made landfall in the northwest.  Many may not currently understand how fortunate this downgrading was for their pocketbooks.  Most, if not all, insurance policies for hurricane coverage on residences and commercial policies have large deductibles that must be covered by the property owners themselves.  Depending on the amount of the Hurricane Sandy property damage claim, some property owners could have been forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars of their own money to rebuild as deductibles for such insurance coverage claims can be a percentage of the total claim.

Hurricane Sandy and Deductibles

On Wednesday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a shot across the bow of private insurance companies reiterating the point made by meteorologists that Hurricane Sandy winds never reached hurricane strength once the storm made landfall in New York.  Governor Cuomo said simply, “Homeowners should not have to pay deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled.” This simple fact could ease the burden for homeowners to the tune of millions, if not billions, of dollars monies that will not have the paid out of the homeowners pocket in the form of deductibles that exist in most policies.

Many people are wary of personally dealing with their insurance company, they want to make sure that they get the full amount of their claim paid.  The best thing a homeowner can do is document their claim as best they can.  If you think that your insurance company is giving you the run-around, consult an attorney to advise you on how to proceed.

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Hurricane Sandy Business Interruption Claims

hurricane sandy claims  For most of those who suffered during the superstorm that was Hurricane Sandy the rebuilding has already begun.  The average person may have a house or car that was damaged by high wind or floods.  But what about those persons who own businesses and will need to file a business interruption claim as a result of Hurricane sandy.  Hurricane Sandy business interruption claims will come in many forms.  Some business owners may not have been able to get to work or customers may not have been able to attend meetings during and after the storm.  These claims may not be very large but for an accountant or attorney who bills by the hour it may be a significant amount. Others may have had their location flooded and will need to do complete restorations of their facility.

Take for example a medium to large restaurant in New Jersey and New York that may have been near the coast and took the brunt of the Storm’s high winds and flooding.  The facility may need to be completely rehabilitated from water damage.  This could take weeks, even months, if contractors and materials are scarce.  Of course, these types of claims will have much larger dollar amounts attached to them.  Some businesses may even close for good as they have business interruption insurance but not the actual coverage to rebuild, or rehab, the structure.  Also, many business owners do not own the commercial properties in which they do business.  The decision then to rebuild or rebuild will center around what is in the best interest of
that business owner rather than the renter of the premises

Filing Business Interruption Claims

The next question for businesses filing Hurricane Sandy business interruption claims will be how to calculate the actual claim.  Of course the insurance company will have a set calculation that is very often set out in the policy itself.  But, as we all know, numbers and statistics can be manipulated or skewed depending on what the calculating party is trying to accomplish.  Obviously, insurance companies are not in the business of writing business claim checks any larger than they have to be.  And, the insurance companies hire professionals to calculate these claims in their best interests.

So, how do you protect yourself and your business interests to get you and your business the money that you deserve?  You paid for the coverage and you clearly suffered a loss: why not get all that you are entitled to.  Many business owners are very good at running their particular businesses, whether it be a bar owner or delicatessen, but they are not experts when it comes to crunching numbers.  They need to hire professionals as well to protect their business claims.

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Hurricane Claims and the Aftermath of Sandy

November 1, 2012

  As things begin to calm down, and people have an opportunity to begin to quantify the damages from Hurricane Sandy. Insurance adjusters from major insurance companies will begin to swarm over the area, many will be their to assist people hurt by the storm. Others will be there to try to save the insurance [...]

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Hurricane Sandy Business Interruption Claims

August 27, 2011

Hurricane Sandy Business Interruption Claims   If past indications for large hurricanes are any gauge of what will happen in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there is no doubt that the U.S. economy will take a hit if even just briefly. There will be Hurricane Sandy Claims  There is no doubt that employers held off [...]

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