Following Hurricane Sandy, thousands of homeowners and business owners filed insurance claims for property damage; however many New Jersey business owners are still struggling to reopen, even three months after the destructive storm. Why?
Businesses in Jersey Shore are waiting for their commercial insurance claim settlements, but delays with insurance claims have caused several business owners more stress. They are already dealing with rebuilding costs, lost income, unemployment claims, and trying to reopen their businesses. Additionally, many business owners are forced to combat their insurance companies. Not only are they losing revenue, but they are not receiving much help from their insurers.
The state of New Jersey has attempted to work with businesses owners to investigate commercial claim denials, delays, and unsatisfactory settlements from insurance companies. So far, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance has reported the following figures:
- 36,000 commercial property damage claims related to Sandy
- $255.6 million in losses paid to businesses so far
- 12,000 business interruptions claims reported
- $53.4 million in business interruption losses paid
Although some business owners have been paid, there are many who have not been paid due to insurance delays, which causes businesses to stall their rebuilding plans. Some insurance companies are completely overwhelmed with the volume of claims they are handling, which is part of the explanation for the delayed claims process. And other insurance carriers are participating in bad faith and unfair insurance settlement practices. Whatever the reason, many businesses have endured a painful recovery thus far waiting on their insurance money.