SANDY ONE YEAR LATER: Storm victims navigate difficulties of insurance claims


| editorial@queenscourier.com |



Sandy victims not only felt the wrath of the storm, but experienced the scramble to recover funds washed away with the floodwater.

Residents report having difficulty dealing with insurance companies and getting back what they believe to be theirs.

“The insurance companies have dominated this process because people really don’t know where to turn,” said lawyer John Houghtaling, who specializes in claim insurance litigation and disaster recovery law.

Local officials in south Queens have received complaints about insurance companies and inquiries as to where to turn.

City Councilmember Eric Ulrich’s office has fielded numerous complaints to the Department of Financial Services (DFS), which handles insurance issues.

“Do we receive complaints? Absolutely,” said John Capuano of the DFS. “People have gotten checks, they say it’s not enough or they think something was missed.”

The DFS has seen a significant spike in claims since the storm hit, Capuano said, and has been working to contact individual insurance companies.

They have additionally done field visits, where the DFS arranges for an adjuster from an insurance company to visit the problem site to “give it a second look” with a DFS staff member, according to Capuano.

 

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