Homeowners in the New York and New Jersey area have met with frustration, defeat and disgust in trying to get their Hurricane Sandy insurance claims adjusted by their insurance companies.
The New Jersey Star-Ledger recently looked into what these homeowners have experienced, from getting raw deals from insurance adjusters who evaluate their claims with inaccurate computer software to the perhaps conflict-laden relationship between FEMA and insurance companies handling flood claims, as FEMA will take back the sum of wrongly paid claims from the insurer.
Homeowners have been sucked into a bureaucratic nightmare dealing with their insurance companies, sometimes waiting for weeks and months to receive responses to simple queries. When they file claims with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, little help comes their way.
Homeowners, often stretched to the breaking point both emotionally and financially, are left in a quandary as to whether to accept trifling settlements or fight daunting battles against insurance companies with seemingly limitless resources.
After reading the article, you hopefully will agree with me that stronger consumer laws are needed on the books to provide for punitive damages and attorney’s fees against insurance companies that act in an unfair or deceptive manner. Presently, when insurance companies take unfair advantage of their customers – which translates into the general public, because essentially all homeowners carry insurance coverage – there is no effective remedy available to them.