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Most Sandy-related claims settled in New York

Posted On Wed, February 27, 2013

Approximately seven in 10 homeowners who were affected by Hurricane Sandy have had their claims paid by their insurer, a new report shows.

According to data released by regulators in New York, approximately 389,800 claims from residents affected by the late-October superstorm have been processed. Of these, nearly 272,900 claims have been closed with some type of payment as of February 15.

Regulators were able to determine this after reviewing claims data from the two dozen insurers operating in the state, including Allstate, State Farm and Travelers. More than any other provider, Allstate had the highest number of Sandy-related claims, totaling 81,507. Since mid-February, approximately 80 percent had been handled, with the average time of payment taking about 21 days, starting when the claim was first submitted.

State Farm, meanwhile, had the second-highest number of claims, with two-thirds of them settled.

Complaints were relatively limited, as Allstate logged 528 and State Farm 179, complaint rates of 0.65 and 0.32 percent, respectively.

J.D. Power and Associates recently released a study on consumer satisfaction that policyholders had with the insurance claims process. On a 1,000-point scale, insurers received a score of 861, an 11-point increase from the last time in which the satisfaction study was performed.

Jeremy Bowler, senior director of the insurance practice at J.D. Power, noted that what policyholders were most pleased with was how quickly the claims were settled as opposed to insurance rates.

"Regardless of the claim type, the faster the claimant is paid and can move forward with a repair or to replace their vehicle, the more likely they are to be satisfied," said Bowler.

He added that satisfaction was also high among consumers for the professional with whom they dealt with in the claims process.

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