Guiding Clients After the Storm, Insurance Agencies Brace for Life after Sandy

The (Newark) Star-Ledger

  • November 25, 2012

For nearly two weeks, it was like this: no lights, no heat, no office phone, no Internet.

And hundreds of customers ringing Jacki Frank’s cell phone, telling her of the toll that Hurricane Sandy had wrought on their lives.

They were calling not for sympathy, but for help in navigating the daunting and sometimes dismaying world of filing an insurance claim.

In New Jersey, an insurance broker can be found liable for flood damages if he or she failed to advise a client about the availability of flood insurance, according to Robert Chesler, an attorney with Anderson Kill & Olick in Newark and adjunct professor of insurance law at Rutgers University.

“In those cases where there was no advice by the insurance broker, there’s a real risk of litigation,” said Chesler, who said he is already handling a Sandy-related claim against an agent.

Garden State courts have ruled that insurance brokers have a heightened duty to their clients, particularly if the broker has presented itself as a risk-management expert that will assess clients and advise them on the types of coverage they need, he said.

Read the full story: Guiding clients after the storm, insurance agencies brace for life after Sandy

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