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Insurance companies trying to increase deductibles for Sandy victims

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Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) says he has warned insurance companies not try to skirt their obligations to their policyholders.  

Schumer held a Sunday press conference claiming reports indicate that these companies are pushing to have the storm reclassified as a Hurricane, rather than a "post tropical cyclone." That storm reclassification that would increase deductibles for homeowners by tens of thousands of dollars if successful.  

Schumer said that homeowners across the New York area have paid thousands of dollars in premiums and that they should be receiving world-class service from the companies in this time of crisis. 

"Superstorm Sandy left many homeowners' lives in shambles, and private insurance companies - who have collected thousands and thousands of dollars in premiums - should be doing everything possible to help them clean up the mess and rebuild, not trying to skirt their obligations," Schumer said. "The state and federal government both classified this storm as a post tropical cyclone, not a hurricane, and insurance companies shouldn't try to alter reality to save money on the backs of homeowners." 

Homeowner's insurance policies frequently have special deductibles for storms classified as "hurricanes." In almost all cases, these deductibles are far higher than those for other types of storms. A typical hurricane deductible is between 1% and 5% of the value of a home, amounts that easily run into the tens of thousands of dollars in expensive real estate markets such as the New York region. Non-hurricane deductibles, on the other hand, are usually a fixed amount, oftentimes less than $1,000.

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