NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces Overhaul to Sandy Rebuilding Efforts

Bad Faith Insurance Lawyer

Hurricane Sandy victims are becoming increasingly vocal about the overall lack of assistance from the government and the insurance industry needed to repair or rebuild their homes.  On April 17th, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio promised that, by the end of this summer, the city will start rebuilding at least 500 homes under the Build It Back program and send out 500 reimbursement checks to homeowners who have already done the work.

Will This Promise Be Fulfilled?

It’s been a year and a half since the Superstorm ravished the eastern seaboard and caused $50 billion in damage.  Many promises have been made since the storm occurred – only to be broken soon afterward.  According to, Mayor de Blasio seems to understand these concerns and announced the “500” number to provide a measurable goal.

As part of that goal, de Blasio plans to overhaul the city’s rebuilding and recovery efforts by streamlining and increasing the response to the Build It Back program.  That program, which many thought would be the conduit for change, never really got off the ground. However, last month, de Blasio appointed three new officials to head up the newly created Office of Recovery and Resiliency to re-energize recovery efforts.

The mayor’s office says that it is committed to expanding eligibility for home acquisition and reimbursement by eliminating income priority levels, offering water bill relief for vacant homes and by working with the Red Cross to expand rental assistance for undocumented immigrants displaced by Sandy.

Many homeowners have still not seen their insurance companies step up to the plate and take responsibility for their contractual obligations.

An Insurance Policy Is a Legal Contract

A standard homeowners’ insurance policy (typically known as an HO1) is essentially a contract between a homeowner and an insurance company.  The homeowner pays premiums in exchange for the insurance company insuring against certain risks.   However, the contract’s provisions are commonly interpreted in ways that benefit insurance companies and often leave homeowners feeling as though they are powerless to fight back.

Insurance companies have a legal duty to deal with policyholders fairly and in good faith and must make reasonable efforts to compensate you for your losses.  They can deny your claim only if they have conducted a fair and reasonably thorough investigation.

When insurance companies breach that duty, they can be held liable for bad faith insurance practices.  Unfortunately, many homeowners feel as though they can’t fight back against a multi-million dollar corporation with a team of attorneys at its disposal.  The bottom line is that policyholders who have been treated in bad faith can – and should – fight back.

Experienced New York insurance dispute lawyers understand how insurance companies operate – and insurance companies know which New York law firms will hold them accountable for their contractual obligations.  If you’ve been treated in bad faith, do not give up until you’ve spoken with an attorney who can analyze your situation and determine your legal options.  Most offer free consultations so that you can make an informed decision about what’s best for you and your family.