Assembly Insurance Committee Chair Kevin Cahill (D Ulster, Dutchess) held two roundtable discussions today in Far Rockaway, Queens and Lindenhurst, Long Island as a follow up to the Committees six and a half hour hearing to examine the claims settlement practices of insurers related to Superstorm Sandy that took place on February 26. The two events brought together representatives from the Department of Financial Services, insurance agents and brokers, public and independent adjusters, community representatives and major insurance companies to provide insight to the delays in claims and processing payments, inadequacy of settlement offers and the complexities of insurance policies.
Our previous hearing was essential for us to understand the challenges that policy holders faced, and todays roundtables provided us with a valuable, in depth look at some of the major issues that residential and commercial consumers struggled with during the disaster, said Assemblymember Cahill. This information will help us to craft meaningful, comprehensive policy to allow for a smoother path to recovery in the event of future storms.
The slow response time of insurance companies after the catastrophic event of Hurricane Sandy is not only negligent, but utterly unacceptable, said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D Rockaway). I commend Speaker Silver and the Assembly Standing Committee on Insurance for listening to the residents of Southern Queens and Rockaway by holding this round table in the heart of our community. I look forward to working with the Department of Financial Services and my colleagues to hold companies accountable and provide residents the essential resources they need to recover from this disaster and any future event.
The home and business owners of Suffolk County who faithfully paid their premiums deserve a claims process that is equitable, fair, and timely. Today's roundtable helped to facilitate a discussion between insurers, policyholders and lawmakers which will result in meaningful changes to the way insurance companies operate statewide, said Assemblyman Bob Sweeney (D - Lindenhurst).
Chairman Cahill will be hosting roundtables in Brooklyn and Staten Island in the coming weeks. Finding solutions to help New Yorkers be prepared for disasters and helping them recover quicker and more completely is our goal. These meetings provide knowledge and experiences statistics cannot provide, Cahill concluded.