Insured losses in all affected U.S. states and Caribbean regions are estimated to be $20 billion to 25 billion, according to a statement released by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, which acknowledged New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s efforts to help homeowners recover from Sandy. This would rank Sandy among the top three most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history.

In the first 90 days following Superstorm Sandy, private insurers have paid more than three-fourths (76 percent) of the more than 321,000 homeowners and auto insurance claims submitted. This data excludes claims covered by the National Flood Insurance Program, individuals who did not have flood insurance or individuals who wanted to file for disaster assistance funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but needed a declination letter from their insurer.

"Following Sandy, insurers have on average been able to pay claims within 20 days of the first report of damage. This timeframe is remarkable given the tremendous devastation that made it very difficult for insurers to locate consumers and access disaster sites," said Kristina Baldwin, AVP for PCI.

The insurance industry's 20-day response time to Sandy claims also compares favorably to other major catastrophic events and is nearly a week shorter than the 25 days it took Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (LCPIC) to settle claims following Hurricane Isaac, which struck New Orleans on Aug. 28, 2012.

"Based on the Insurance Department's report card, only 0.56 percent of all Sandy-related claims have resulted in formal complaints about the settlement process,” Baldwin said. "We fully understand that every person wants as quick a settlement as possible, and by that standard, no company is perfect. But the results demonstrate that New York insurers have performed very well under extraordinary circumstances."

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