Super Storm Sandy Application of Deductibles

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October 31  |  Hurricane Sandy, New York, News  |   Danielle Szeliga
State Capital Bulletin
October 30, 2012
State: New York
Topic: Hurricane Deductibles
Lines Affected: Homeowners Insurance

In the wake of Super Storm Sandy, PCI discusses Hurricane Deductibles with the New York Department of Financial Services.

Sandy – Not a Hurricane

PCI spoke with the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), this morning, relative to the application of hurricane deductibles.  The DFS wanted PCI members to know that it is the DFS’ preliminary assessment that hurricane deductibles should not be applicable because the wind speed was not sufficient and the storm had been downgraded from a hurricane to a post tropical cyclone by the time it reached NY.  The DFS has asked that PCI share this information with its members.  If any company believes that the language in their policies would allow them to apply a hurricane deductible for Sandy losses (NY does not have a hurricane deductible statute, so policy language may differ) and plans to apply such deductibles, the DFS would like to be made aware of that by the end of the day.  Please reach out to Kristina Baldwin if your company is in this position so that she can facilitate contact  (the Department’s NYC offices are located in lower Manhattan and are closed). 

Please be advised additionally that the Department’s primary focus is in this inquiry is hurricane deductibles.  They would, however, also like to be advised if a company plans to apply a wind deductible.

PCI will continue to stay in close contact with the DFS and will get you any additional information as it becomes available.

Other Sandy Information

The DFS is processing temporary adjuster licenses.  Please get them the application ASAP.  The following is a link with information relative to how to request such a license: 

They have not yet initiated the Corporate Emergency Access System (CEAS) for adjuster credentialing to get access to disaster areas.

They will start gathering claim data by the end of the week.  A form will be available by the end of the week and will be required to be submitted by close of business Monday (11/5) and on a daily basis thereafter until the DFS determines that less frequent reporting is necessary.  PCI and our industry partners pushed back on the daily reporting requirement and were soundly rebuked.

Relative to adjusting claims that may have elements of flood – The department does not want insurers assuming that if there is water involved, then it’s flood and not send adjusters out.  You may recall that this was an issue last year with Irene.  If there is a possibility that there is some coverage under the homeowners or other property policy, the department wants an adjuster sent to the property (don’t just assume only flood coverage).

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