Posted on 24 Apr 13 by Annie George
The 24 insurance companies and their subsidiaries that make up the majority of the market in Hurricane Sandy-affected areas have closed nearly 95% of their claims in New York, according to a recent update from insurance regulators.
The New York authorities following Sandy began issuing report card updates on how major insurers in the state were handling claims. Authorities are tracking large companies like State Farm, Allstate, American International Group, Utica National Insurance Group and others.
A recent update said the companies have received 397,160 claims and have closed 375,774 of them, with the majority of them being classified as "closed with payment" as opposed to "closed without payment." There have been 3,388 complaints made, the report said.
Allstate and its subsidiaries received 82,576 claims, the most of any company New York regulators are tracking. The company reported closing 78,125 claims with or without payment. There were 692 complaints made against the company. State Farm had 56,920, the second-highest number of claims. It reported closing 52,536 and had 230 complaints against it.
At least two states and one insurance company are offering mediation programs for any outstanding claims. New Jersey and New York authorities said their mediation programs would be handled by the American Arbitration Association. The programs are voluntary for policyholders and are designed to avoid costly litigation.
At least one insurance company, Liberty Mutual Insurance, enlisted the help of an independent mediator to resolve Sandy claims.
As of April 19, the top five writers of homeowners insurance in 2012 in New York were: State Farm Group, with market share of 15.12%; Allstate Insurance Group, with 14.7%; Travelers Group, with 10.73%; Chubb Group of Insurance Cos., with 8.92%; and Liberty Mutual Insurance Cos., with 8.24%, according to BestLink (www.ambest.com/bestlink).
Allstate Insurance Group companies currently have a Best's Financial Strength Rating of A+ (Superior), while State Farm Group companies are currently rated A++ (Superior).