3 Years Is a Long Time to Wait

Whether you live along the Jersey shore that was devastated by Superstorm Sandy, or merely observed the aftermath on the news, you were most likely taken aback by the mass of losses incurred.


An article in the insurance industry magazine Insurance Journal stated that three years ago the storm “slammed the New Jersey shore, destroying homes, splintering boardwalks, wrecking businesses and displacing thousands of people.”


It is a common statement that insurance companies make, stating that the purpose of owning an insurance policy is to get you back to where you were before the loss. This makes sense, as it’s not a policy to benefit from financially, but to be able to replace all items – house, business, or the contents, once an insured loss is experienced.


Superstorm Sandy residents are still not back home


However, thousands are still unable to move back home due to four main reasons:
1. Not having enough money to complete the job (possibly uninsured or underinsured?).
2. Working through all the red tape that comes with government aid programs.
3. Contractor disputes.
4. Insurance company disputes.


One resident summed it up this way, “Not being in your own home is tough. I have all these cardboard boxes: one is full of underwear, the other is full of shirts. I can’t wait to get back home. People think Sandy is all done; it’s not. People like me are still not home. I want people to know that we are still without a home, but they’re not talking about that anymore.”


Something else people aren’t aware of is how far-reaching the storm really was. According to the Ohio Insurance Institute, Superstorm Sandy was Ohio’s sixth most costly natural disaster in recent history. The storm lasted for three days, and reached as far as Ohio’s northeast counties, causing $292 million in insured losses.


It’s been three years, and some residents and business owners are still not back where they were before their losses.


An asset inventory would have been a useful document


Often, item #4 above can be avoided, or at least lessened, by having a home and business inventory that includes visual information and a written report of your belongings. Being able to prove ownership and the value of the items can speed up the claims process and help you receive an equitable claim settlement.


One thing we have all learned from Superstorm Sandy – something those in Ohio learned – is that you don’t need to live along the ocean shore to experience damage from the hurricanes and storms. Also, with the strange weather patterns we are experiencing every year, it makes sense more now than ever to be prepared. You just don’t know what kind of disaster you will face, or when.