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NJ warns adjusters to be reasonable in Sandy aftermath

Posted On Wed, December 26, 2012

The New Jersey Banking and Insurance Department’s acting commissioner Ken Kobylowski recently warned public insurance adjusters to keep the fees that they charge policyholders reasonably low, according to Insurance Journal.

Kobylowski issued the bulletin on behalf of Governor Chris Christie's statewide effort to ease the struggles of the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Adjusters were warned that the department would be monitoring their fees, and that if any seemed excessive, legal action would be taken against them.

"We do not believe that public adjusters should need to increase their fees due to Superstorm Sandy. New Jersey residents have suffered severe damage to their homes and other property as a result of the storm and should not be victimized by any excessive or unreasonable fees from public adjusters," noted Kobylowski in a statement from the department.

Public adjusters are employed by insurance policyholders to assess claims in the aftermath of a disaster. According to Insurance Journal, they are paid from the proceeds of the policyholder's settlement - generally about 10 to 15 percent of the total amount. They also negotiate with the provider to determine what the payout will be and whether the consumer will see increased insurance rates in the future.

However, according to the department, complaints have been pouring in in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, with policyholders noting that some adjusters have been asking for nearly 50 percent of the settlement.

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