State insurance regulators, working cooperatively through the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), are coordinating efforts to assist New Jersey and other Eastern Seaboard residents in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. To help field calls and respond to residents’ needs, the NAIC has set up a consumer assistance call center last week in the NAIC’s Central Office in Kansas City, Missouri.
The call center will initially help support the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, as they respond to a high volume of telephone calls regarding losses associated with the disaster. Volunteers in the call center will work directly with the public, performing such tasks as responding to general inquiries as well as collecting claims information, which will then be transmitted to the New Jersey Department.
“State insurance regulators from across the country are united to provide assistance to our colleagues in New Jersey and other states that may need assistance or support services during this disaster recovery,” said Kevin McCarty, NAIC President and Florida Insurance Commissioner.
“This call center will effectively allow us to centralize and maximize our ability to promptly assist consumers during this difficult time. Our successful coordinated efforts following Hurricane Katrina demonstrated our readiness for recovery and we are confident our response systems are in place to act appropriately.”
“The quick mobilization of this consumer call center is yet another example of the collaborative strength of our state-based regulatory system,” said Kenneth Kobylowski, Acting Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. “Consumers can count on the fact that our national system of state regulation has experts on the ground, ready to respond in disaster recovery efforts and to answer questions, address concerns and facilitate the claims process.”
The center will initially be staffed by regulators from Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. The center, operating Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. central standard time, is expected to handle calls for several months.