September 02, 2021
NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES ISSUES CIRCULAR LETTER TO EXPEDITE TROPICAL DEPRESSION IDA-RELATED INSURANCE CLAIMS
DFS Advises Insurers to Increase Resources to Service Consumers Impacted by Tropical Depression Ida and Provide Fair and Prompt Claim Settlement Treatment
DFS Will Allow Temporary Permits to be Issued to Qualified Out-of-State Independent Insurance Adjusters to Expedite Claims
The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) today issued a new circular letter to New York-regulated insurers to expedite Tropical Depression Ida-related insurance claims. On September 1, 2021, the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through Downstate New York and delivered historic rainfall, triggering flash floods, power outages and property damage, and posing a threat to public health and safety. Governor Hochul responded by declaring a State of Emergency in New York State within the counties of Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Sullivan, Ulster, and Westchester.
In this emergency situation, DFS expects all insurers to do their part. Due to the severity of the flooding and extent of damage to homeowners and businesses, it is imperative that the insurance industry work towards a fair and speedy resolution of claims.
DFS expects insurers to:
- Increase their resources to ensure proper treatment of their policyholders;
- Allow claimants to make immediate repairs to damaged property if necessary to protect health or safety;
- Allow 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;
- Along with their third-party adjusters, promptly assess claims;
- Provide affected policyholders with fair and equitable claim settlement treatment;
- Cover claims caused by multiple perils even if not all perils are covered under the applicable policy; and
- Make timely payments of claims that arise out of covered perils.
DFS will expedite the issuance of temporary independent insurance adjustor permits as necessary to qualified out-of-state independent insurance adjusters pursuant to New York Insurance Law. Expediting permits will assist New Yorkers by increasing the number of adjusters available to process claims and help get their claims settlements paid and their property repaired faster. DFS encourages insurers to file Temporary Independent Adjustor Applications via the DFS website. Insurers were also reminded to offer other help, including information regarding emergency aid, tips for damage prevention, resources for remediating damage, and contacts for FEMA assistance.
DFS will continue to monitor the situation and assist affected residents and businesses with insurance-related issues. DFS appreciates all insurers’ cooperation in this effort.
- Read a copy of the Circular Letter: Insurance Claims Arising out of Tropical Depression Ida.