Skoufis’ First Bills Geared Towards Insurance Company Response Time During DisastersJan 9th, 2013 | By HV Insider | Category: Political
Assemblyman Skoufis introduces legislation to address the lack of response by insurance companies after a natural disaster
In light of more common natural disasters that have left Orange and Rockland Counties devastated in recent years, Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) introduced his first set of bills as a state legislator. The legislation, submitted during Skoufis’ first week in office, will take a two-pronged approach to require a more timely and thorough response from insurance companies in case of disaster.
“Too often, it’s after the storms hit that families feel the most pain and suffer the worst damage,” Skoufis said. “When families or small businesses pay their premiums, they deserve a fair and expedient resolution from their insurance companies. Making families have to wait years for their settlement makes it difficult for anyone to get back on their feet.”
It has been over a year since Hurricane Irene swept through the Mid-Hudson Valley in August 2011 yet some insurance providers have still not settled with victims of the storm. One example is the Grull Family of Campbell Hall. The Richard and Jeanne Grull are quarantined to a small part of their home and, to this day, are fighting with their insurance company over Irene related damage.
Assemblyman Skoufis’ first bill (A1092) would set the standards for a prompt investigation and settlement of claims when a disaster has been declared; the second (A1093) would create a task force to examine insurance companies’ treatment of claims, and suggest methods to help streamline their response.
The plan to streamline flood insurance claims would address an ever-increasing problem for Mid-Hudson families and was the first order of business because of its urgency and importance, noted Skoufis.
“This legislation addresses what’s becoming a more common problem for New Yorkers,” Skoufis continued. “We must do all we can to ensure that members of our community are not forced to wait over a year to settle claims, so they can begin to get their lives back on track.”