Archive for the tag 'insurance companies'

Photo by Erica Sherman

State Senator Marty Golden has scheduled two visits of the New York State Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Response Unit to aid victims in his district who were affected by Superstorm Sandy.

  • Today, March 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the NYS Department of Financial Services Mobile Command Center will be in Sheepshead Bay, on the corner of Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue.
  • Tomorrow, March 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Mobile Command Center will be outside the Gerritsen Beach Public Library, 2808 Gerritsen Avenue.

Staff will be available to assist homeowners and business owners with the following:

  • City, state and federal relief programs and how to get help
  • Questions about the insurance claims process in New York
  • Seeking resolution on your claims with your insurer or bank
  • Filing an official complaint against an insurer or bank

Anyone who can’t visit the Mobile Command Center in person can file complaints through the New York State Disaster Relief website, www.nyinsure.ny.gov or by calling the Disaster Relief Hotline, (800) 339-1759, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm.

Source: Free Press Pics via Flickr

It’s amazing how a storm can not only destroy homes, businesses and lives, but months later, bring  a whirlwind of insurance nightmares and legal headaches, like an aftershock to an earthquake. So it goes for Sandy victims, who are dealing insurance loopholes and legal issues mucking up their path to recovery.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, residents counting on much needed insurance checks are learning that their policies are riddled with loopholes that exempt entire floors from coverage. On the financial side, banks are refusing to release insurance payments until residents can prove how they will spend the money. In short, storm victims are coming up short on cash.

All of this red tape has created another crisis thought impossible in New York City, a shortage of lawyers:

“I know this sounds ironic especially in a place like New York, but there just aren’t enough lawyers,” said Thomas Maligno, who is leading Sandy outreach efforts for Touro Law School, which includes a legal hotline and a new legal clinic on Long Island staffed by a professor and eight students.

Congress approved $60 billion toward Sandy recovery, with $1 million reserved for funding legal services, but it’s looking like that was not enough. Free legal clinics have been inundated with requests from people trying to navigate the complex web of insurance forms and legal documents, all emanating from clusters of different agencies.

Continue Reading »

Photo by Erica Sherman.

The New York State Department of Financial Services mobile unit is stationed in Manhattan Beach until 7:00 p.m. tonight, assisting residents and business owners with bank and insurance issues. And they’ve got company: representatives from several local banks who will hopefully help ease lending and the release of tied-up insurance funds.

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz writes:

On Monday, March 4th, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., representatives of five of New York’s largest banks and mortgage servicers will be stationed in the Department of Financial Services’ Mobile Command Center outside P.S. 195, 131 Irwin Street (between Shore and Oriental Boulevards) offer one-on-one help to homeowners.

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CitiMortgage and Ocwen Loan Servicing will be on hand. Other institutions sending representatives include OneWest Bank and Assurant, which will represent dozens of smaller banks and mortgage servicers.

… As a member of the Assembly’s Committee on Insurance, I heard testimony at a hearing last week which shed light into policyholders’ experiences with insurance companies in the four months since Sandy struck. Thousands of residents and store owners are still struggling to rebuild their homes and reopen their businesses, and for many of them, difficulties with banks and insurance claims are the primary reason why this process is taking so long.

Insurers typically issue checks jointly to a homeowner and the homeowner’s mortgage bank or servicer following the settlement of a large insurance claim. That means the bank needs to endorse the check before the homeowner may access the funds. Dual endorsement is a standard requirement of mortgage notes and insurance contracts to protect the lender’s interest. Banks may also require proof that repairs have been made before endorsing checks.

Last month, the Department of Financial Services found that banks were holding more than $200 million in insurance funds from Storm Sandy victims; the Department urged the banks to use maximum discretion and effort to speed the release of funds and asked Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to announce emergency reforms to their rules to provide banks and mortgage servicers with even more discretion to release funds.

The five participating banks and servicers will be immediately releasing an estimated $70-80 million to current borrowers as a result of these rule changes.

The Department of Financial Services is also available to anyone who has questions or concerns about general insurance-related issues.

If you can’t attend, you can still get help by calling the department at (800) 339-1759. Insurance information is also available on the department’s website.

Source: NYS DFS

If you need help with an insurance issue, the New York State Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Insurance Response Unit is coming to Sheepshead Bay.

Staff from DFS will be providing insurance assistance from its Mobile Command Center (MCC) on the corner of Sheepshead Bay Road and Emmons Avenue (in front of El Greco Diner), March 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

They will be helping homeowners and business owners with:

  • City, state and federal relief programs and how to get help
  • Questions about the insurance claims process in New York
  • Seeking resolution on your claims with your insurer or bank
  • Filing an official complaint against an insurer or bank.

Bring all relevant documents with you when you visit the MCC, such as correspondence with your insurer or bank.

If you can’t visit the MCC in person you can always get help with insurance issues or file complaints via the NYS Disaster Relief site www.nyinsure.ny.gov or by calling the Disaster Relief Hotline at (800) 339-1759 Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Source: Facebook

If you are a homeowner, renter or business owner affected by Superstorm Sandy and have insurance-related questions or issues related to the storm, the Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) mobile command center will be stationed outside of Public School 195, 131 Irwin Street in Manhattan Beach, all day today, January 14, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Representatives from DFS will meet with residents inside the mobile unit. To learn more, go to DFS’ website or call them, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at (800) 342-3736, (212) 480-6400 or (518) 474-6600.

Source: Facebook

We received this release from the offices of State Senator Martin Golden:

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of Financial Services, announced representatives of the Department of Financial Services will be at locations in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Nassau County and Suffolk County to help homeowners, renters and business owners with insurance-related issues stemming from damage caused by Storm Sandy.

The Department’s representatives will be available to meet with residents inside the agency’s Mobile Command Center, which will be stationed at these locations:

Brooklyn

  • Saturday, Jan. 5 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Jamaica Bay Home Depot, 5700 Avenue U.

Brooklyn

  • Tuesday, Jan. 8 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bergen Beach / Mill Basin Shopping Center, 6620 Avenue U.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 9 – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Coney Island, MCU- Parking Lot, 1904 Surf Ave.

Department representatives will help citizens contact their insurers if they have been unable to do so and answer questions about homeowners’, renters’ and business owners’ insurance coverage.

Citizens unable to go to the Mobile Command Center are encouraged to call the Department’s storm hotline (800) 339-1759 which is staffed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily including weekends. Insurance information is also available on the Department’s website, www.dfs.ny.gov.

Having insurance-related issues? (Of course you are.) Well, the Department of Financial Services, the state agency responsible for regulating the insurance industry and advocating for New York’s residents, has set up a mobile command unit on Emmons Avenue.

The representatives will be available to meet with residents inside the agency’s Mobile Command Center at Emmons Avenue and Nostrand Avenue from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Department representatives will help neighbors contact their insurers if they have been unable to do so and answer questions about homeowners’, renters’ and business owners’ insurance coverage.

Citizens unable to go to the Mobile Command Center are encouraged to call the Department’s storm hotline (800) 339-1759, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Insurance information is also available on the Department’s website.

Thanks to the offices of Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and State Senator Marty Golden, who informed us about the services today.