Friday, August 20, 2010

Everybody Wants To Get Into The Act

Hurricane Recovery Act Proposed By Candidate for NYS Assembly

If only New York had a "How Are We Going To Pay For It Act!"  Perhaps former NYC Mayor Ed Koch could enlist a few of his newly-converted "reformers" (SEE to come up with some novel ideas.

Meanwhile, it looks like more of the same in terms of promises of deductions, tax breaks, and the old political sleight of hand.

This one, we're afraid, while sounding nice on paper (everyone wants a tax deduction, right?) is little more than whistling in the wind. The big problem here, in looking to provide a "funding source" to cover windstorm deductibles, is that New York State has no availavble source of funds. Okay. There is one such source. YOU! Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer...

Long Island Faces Major Economic Concerns with Hurricane Deductibles
Assembly Candidate John Brooks proposes the ‘Hurricane Recovery Act’

Seaford, NY - Assembly Candidate John Brooks is calling for state action to help address the economic impact the Hurricane and Windstorm Deductibles that have been placed on homeowner’s insurance policies on Long Island.

The Hurricane/windstorm deductibles were first introduced a number of years ago as a means of reducing some of the loss exposures insurance companies would face in the event a major storm would make landfall in the region. When first introduced the deductibles were generally 2% of the dwelling coverage amount. In recent years, while no storms have made there way to our region, the insurance industry has taken steps to increase the amount of the deductible and in some cases expand when the deductible will be applied. Today on average the deductible is 5% of the dwelling coverage amount, which for a home insured for $500,000 would translate into a $25,000 deductible.

“When we take into consideration the wide spread damage the Long Island would face should a major storm make land fall in our area and consider the fact that in many cases the damage to these homes will fall below the deductible amount meaning the homeowner will have no coverage, we are looking at a major economic problem for the region,” said Brooks. “This problem will be even more significant for Long Island seniors who may be on a fixed incomes and are not generally in a position to come up with $20,000 or more in cash at the drop of a hat.”

Brooks is proposing the passage of the “Hurricane Recovery Act” which will provide a funding source to cover the windstorm deductible amount and recovery companies that would respond to the damaged homes and take steps to protect the homes from any further damage.

· The Hurricane Recovery Act would seek financial institutions that will to commit to providing the needed funding to cover the amount of the Hurricane or Windstorm deductible or the amount of damage that was not covered do to the deductible in the form an emergency home equity loan. In this way the homeowner’s policy has effectively eliminated the windstorm or hurricane deductible.

· The Plan would also include the use of emergency response companies that would go to the damaged location and take immediate steps to mitigate the current damages and protect the home from any additional damage.

“It is very possible the participation in such a program would result in a discount on the individual’s homeowner’s policy because the program would serve to reduce and control loss expense for the insurance company." Brooks added, “The key with the Hurricane Recovery Act is the immediate availability of these funds to have the repairs made timely and before additional damage would be done. We have been very fortunate in recent years that we have not had to deal with a major hurricane or coastal storm. Experts have indicated that it is only a matter of time before we are faced with a storm. This is as only the first step in addressing the issue of hurricanes and insurance availability, when I get to Albany I will work with the insurance industry and other experts to take needed steps to improve the overall availability of insurance here on Long Island.” Brooks concluded.

John Brooks is the Democratic Candidate for the 19th Assembly District. The District includes Seaford, Wantagh, Bellmore, Merrick, and parts of Freeport, Baldwin, Levittown, East Meadow, North Merrick and North Bellmore. John Brooks is a member of Seaford Fire Department and the Seaford Historical Society a former member of the Seaford Board of Education and was the First Director of Risk Management for Nassau County. He resides in Seaford and is the father to one son.


  1. This is no slight of hand... and the funding for the plan does not come from the state. Failure to take action like this could result in significant economic problems for LI is a storm comes.

  2. Let's face facts. Those signs for Coastal Evacuation Routes notwithstanding, should a category 4 or 5 Hurricane make landfall on Long Island, no one gets off.

    Yes, we must be prepared. An ounce of prevention is, as they say, worth a pound of cure.

    Beyond that, legislating for that big storm, whether in Albany or Washington, is little more than whistling in the proverbial wind.