With more than 52,000 Sandy-related claims filed to date, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company said it anticipates that payouts to policyholders who have suffered covered losses could exceed $300 million — four times what it paid as a result of Tropical Storm Irene.
Irene was previously the largest claims event in the company’s 99-year history, with a cost of $75 million. The company said it has already closed an estimated 45 percent of Sandy-related claims and disbursed payments totaling nearly $100 million to policyholders to help them repair, replace and rebuild damaged property.
The insurer said that even though the expected payout is significant, the company’s balance sheet is designed to respond to the covered claims of its policyholders in this type of event.
The company is the Garden State’s third-largest underwriter of homeowners coverage, insuring approximately 280,000 households throughout the state, and is the largest provider of personal automobile insurance, with approximately 800,000 insured vehicles. The company said the most common homeowner loss being reported is related to wind damage, while the most common cause of automobile loss is related to flooding.
The company also said its subsidiary, New Jersey Re-Insurance Company, is a participant in the Write Your Own (WYO) National Flood Insurance Program in the region impacted by Sandy and underwrites approximately 10,200 flood policies for the entity. So far, some 4,600 flood claims have been filed on those policies.
CEO Bernie Flynn emphasized that the company’s number-one priority is helping policyholders recover from the damage Sandy left behind, stating that “we recognize our policyholders need us now most of all. Regardless of the volume of claims, or the ultimate cost, our policyholders who sustain covered losses can be sure of our commitment to helping them during this difficult time.”
“The entire NJM staff, and our trusted partners, have been working around the clock and will continue to do so until all service obligations are fulfilled,” said CEO Flynn.