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Hochul directs DFS to help expedite claims in response to historic winter storm


Mon, Nov 21st 2022 03:20 pm

New Yorkers encouraged to call DFS disaster hotline at 800-339-1759 for insurance-related questions

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Monday directed the Department of Financial Services to issue temporary adjuster permits to qualified out-of-state independent insurance adjusters, in order to expedite insurance claims in light of the winter storm impacting the Buffalo and Watertown areas. Expediting permits will increase the number of adjusters available to process claims and help New Yorkers get their claims paid faster. Insurers are encouraged to make any necessary applications on the Department of Financial Services website.

"My administration is using every tool at our disposal to deliver relief to New York businesses and homeowners following this historic winter storm," Hochul said. "This new guidance will help to expedite insurance claims for New Yorkers in need, and fast-track our recovery effort as we continue to work around the clock to assist Buffalo and Watertown area residents. I urge all New Yorkers to file claims as soon as they can to help rebuild their communities and homes."

Department of Financial Services Superintendent Adrienne A. Harris said, "DFS stands ready to help impacted homeowners and businesses with insurance questions and claims related to the winter storm. DFS will be issuing temporary adjuster permits to those responding to property losses in Western, Central and Northern New York counties, and we will continue to assist in emergency response efforts in partnership with fellow state agencies and local partners to help these communities rebuild and recover."

Hochul’s team said, “Due to the severity of the winter storm and extent of damage to homeowners and businesses, it is imperative that the insurance industry work towards a fair and speedy resolution of all claims and provide the necessary resources to do so.”

In this emergency situation, DFS expects all insurers to do their part by:

√ Promptly processing and investigating insurance claims made by claimants;

√ Allowing claimants to provide as reasonable proof items such as: photographs or video recordings (without the need for a physical inspection); material samples, if applicable; inventories; and receipts for any repairs to or replacement of property; and

√ Allowing claimants to make immediate repairs to damaged property, if necessary, to protect health or safety.

DFS will continue to monitor the situation and assist affected residents and businesses with insurance-related issues.

Residents can also get assistance with insurance information regarding policy coverage for losses and suggestions on how to document their losses and safeguard their property by calling the department's disaster hotline at 800-339-1759, from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. daily, and by accessing the department's website at www.dfs.ny.gov.

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