New Jersey Orders Mediation Program for Hurricane Sandy Claims

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Danziger & De Llano, a law firm that has spent nearly two decades representing consumers forced to fight for their rights against big corporate interests, praised a recent announcement from the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. The commissioner indicated that the state is establishing a mediation program for those whose Hurricane Sandy claims remain unresolved.

An article that appeared in the Asbury Park Press on April 10, 2013, written by Ken Kobylowski, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, indicates that the department has been working at Governor Chris Christie’s behest to ensure that the state’s residents are being served by the insurance industry following Hurricane Sandy. Kobylowski stated that ninety three percent of New Jersey residents’ insurance claims have been satisfactorily settled; for those whose offers from the insurance companies have been unacceptable or are in dispute, a mediation program is being developed with the hope that the process will provide an alternative to residents having to file a lawsuit. In a separate article found in the Newark Star Ledger’s NJ.com, it has been reported that the mediation will be provided by The American Arbitration Association.

State Proactive on Behalf of Claimants

Attorney Paul Danziger of Danziger & De Llano, an attorney whose firm has been offering assistance to Hurricane Sandy victims, says that the actions being taken by the state of New Jersey to assist residents has been a model of how government can head off costly litigation. “Far too many of the insurance companies have been slow, unresponsive, or uncooperative when it comes to dealing with victims of Sandy. This was a devastating storm and people deserve to be treated fairly.” Danziger cited several things that the state of New Jersey has done to assist those affected by the Hurricane Sandy insurance settlements, including reducing the amount of time that insurance companies have to respond to inquiries from fifteen days down to five, and limiting the companies to just one five-day extension rather than the previously-existing unlimited amount.

Lawsuits Filed on Behalf of Storm Victims

Victims of the storm have been faced with a number of challenges with regard to filing insurance claims, and NJ.com reported that a class action lawsuit has been filed against several major insurance companies accusing them of wrongfully denying claims. Paul Danziger of Danziger & De Llano expects that many more such suits will be filed, despite the state providing the mediation program.

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