19 Months after Hurricane Sandy & Many Still Waiting For Relief

Get the help you need from an expert bad faith insurance lawyer.Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction affected those in the coastal areas of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut in a way that no other storm has in the recent past. Many homeowners experienced severe damage or complete destruction of their properties and needed federal aid and insurance proceeds to repair and rebuild.

However, federal aid has been slow-coming and getting paid by insurance companies has left its own path of destruction as policyholders continue to battle it out with their insurance carriers. Sadly, 19 months after Hurricane Sandy hit, many are still waiting for relief.

Superstorm Sandy Recovery Efforts Frustrate Many

Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts have frustrated many homeowners who simply want to get what they’re entitled to and move on with their lives. However, issues with dispersing federal aid, bureaucracy, and litigation are keeping them from doing just that. A recent article on nj.com provides some insight:

  • Federal aid still slow reaching victims. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved New Jersey’s spending plan for $1.8 billion. While the state says $1.3 billion dollars of that is “in the pipeline,” only $416 million has been distributed.
  • Bureaucracy affecting processes. Hurricane Sandy victims say the process on how to receive aid has been problematic. Victims say inconsistent practices have led to “confusion and misinformation” and has hindered their abilities to obtain needed funding. In fact, a recent federal audit found that 25 percent of all case files officials reviewed from applicants to the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation and Mitigation (RREM) grant program had missing or misfiled documents or incomplete information.
  • Thousands of lawsuits pending. Hurricane Sandy victims have filed approximately 1,000 lawsuits against insurance companies, contractors, local municipalities and others and judges say another 1,000 may be “on the way.” On top of that, many homeowners whose insurance companies have not treated them in good faith are only now making their way through mediation processes. The New Jersey judicial system recently established special procedures on how to best to deal with filed – and yet to be filed – claims in order to avoid clogging up the court system.

It’s clear to see why people are frustrated with the progress on many fronts. A recent survey of New Jersey residents showed that most were not optimistic about the progress either. In fact, only 8 percent of people think that recovery efforts will be completed within the next year and 60 percent thought it could take an additional 5 years.

Another poll showed that public satisfaction with the state’s recovery efforts had dropped below 50 percent for the first time, with 75 percent of respondents blaming state mismanagement rather than federal red tape.

What Satisfaction Level Has Your Homeowners Insurance Company Achieved?

Sadly, many homeowners would likely answer that question with a very low percentage rate. While homeowners insurance should have covered much of the damage caused by Superstorm Sandy, many insurers haven’t stepped up the plate. They simply haven’t wanted to pay up – even though they are required by law to do so. Many have:

  • Denied legitimate proceeds
  • Unreasonably delayed payments
  • Offered lowball settlements

All of these practices can result in bad faith insurance practices. If you’ve been treated in bad faith, contact an experienced New York insurance dispute lawyer to review your situation and determine whether you might be entitled to compensation.

Insurance companies often engage in these types of practices hoping that policyholders will get so frustrated they’ll simply walk away or take less. However, these companies also know which law firms are not afraid to take them to court. Hiring an aggressive attorney can help you level the playing field.