Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein put forward a bill that would protect people from unfair insurance practices administered during a time when the governor has declared a disaster emergency, according to a report by Insurance Journal.
The language of the bill (A05780) states that it “would establish a private right of action for the insured for unfair insurance settlement practices when the claim relates to loss or injury in an area where the governor has declared a disaster emergency.”
The new legislation doesn’t prevent insurance companies from denying claims. Rather, it reintroduces an element of common sense and fairness in situations where disaster victims have lost everything and are left with the maddening process of fighting insurance companies over the technicalities of what they are owed.
The “private right of action” would grant insureds the power to fight their insurance companies over blatantly unfair practices in the face of a storm’s devastation.
The extra cherry on the bill allows for people to seek punitive damages from insurance companies that screw over their customers the next time a huge disaster like Superstorm Sandy comes and wipes them out.