Picking Up the Pieces: Super Storm Sandy’s Aftermath

After the damage is identified the long process of clean-up, replacement, and rebuilding must begin. The biggest headache for many storm victims will be dealing with the insurance companies.

With many residents of New York and New Jersey only recently able to inspect the storm damage to their property, the long process of rebuilding is only just beginning.  Water and wind damage need to be assessed. Personal and real property damage needs to be calculated. After the damage is identified the long process of clean-up, replacement, and rebuilding must begin. The biggest headache for many storm victims will be dealing with the insurance companies.


Who Does Your Insurance Company Work For?


Casualty insurance companies, companies that issue renters and homeowners insurance policies all market themselves as being on the side of the policyholder. Simple economics can common sense tells otherwise. Insurance companies issue insurance policies as a kind of bet. They bet their statistics and complicated actuarial models are correct and that they can make much more money on policy premiums than they do in paying out damages. This is one of the reasons policies are so long and complicated to read. Once you make a claim on your policy your insurance company doesn’t really work for you, they are looking out for their bottom line.


When a unique natural disaster like Sandy arrives, insurance companies have no incentive to pay out claims quickly or fully. Even insurance companies attempting to work in good faith are overwhelmed with claims. Recent experience with Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast has showed that it can take years to settle the legal and factual issues involved in any single claim for damages. Many insurance adjusters may even hope to tire out claimants and pay out lower amounts than the claimant may be entitled to.


Claims Process Can be Lengthy and Complicated


Some of the factual and legal arguments around claims are determining what is covered. Common issues are was the damage caused by wind or water? Was the storm a hurricane or tropical storm? Was the property damaged a primary residence or vacation home? Was the property personal or business? The timing of the making of the claim and the insurance company’s efforts to settle the claim are also important.


Insurance companies have armies of adjusters, accountants, actuaries, and lawyers looking out for them. Who does the policyholder have looking out for them? Insurance contracts are notoriously complicated and difficult to understand with multiple contingent clauses and miles of fine print. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can improve your chances of getting all the money you are entitled to, and can often help resolve claims faster.

 

If you or a loved one suffered extensive property damage caused in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and believe you were unfairly denied adequate payment from your insurance company, you may be entitled to compensation by filing a Hurricane Sandy lawsuit.  Time is of the essence in fighting your claim.  The lawyers at Slater Slater Schulman LLP are here to assist you.  Please contact us at (800) 251-6990 or via filling out the form on this page, and we will be happy to discuss your potential claim with you.   There is no obligation, financial or otherwise, for a free consultation with our attorneys.  Your insurance company has an array of people looking after their bottom line; who’s looking out for you?

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