It has been a month since Superstorm Sandy hit the east coast causing tens of billions of dollars of damage to homes and businesses. On the insurance front, various states have revised regulations or issued executive orders impacting the way claims are assessed and handled. Today, NY Governor Cuomo issued an executive order directing that temporary licenses be issued on an expedited basis to out-of-state insurance adjusters. In addition, the NY Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a new regulation requiring insurance companies to start investigating claims in 6 business days, rather than 15 days under current rules. The DFS website will feature online report cards on performance of insurance companies since the storm.
Following the storm, governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland directed insurance companies not to enforce the homeowners’ hurricane deductibles given that the National Hurricane Center downgraded sandy to a “post-tropical storm” just before it made landfall. But, other states may allow insurance companies to enforce the hurricane deductibles. For instance, Sandy was still classified as a hurricane when it passed by North Carolina.
Estimates are that there will be between $10 billion to $20 billion in insured losses from the superstorm.
We are closely following the business and insurance implications from the storm and will provide updates on regulations and litigation as they arise.