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Resolution of Storm Insurance Payments by Senator Skoufis

Updated: Feb 11



Long-Awaited Resolution in Skoufis’ Decade-Plus Fight to Enact Justice for Storm Victims


Senator James Skoufis (D-Orange County) is proud to announce that his bill (S.5201) ensuring prompt investigation and payment of insurance claims arising out of states of emergency and disasters was finally signed into law this year. The Governor’s green light signals the end to a long and arduous fight that started over ten years ago in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. 


Skoufis entered the legislature as an Assembly member in 2013 in the wake of Sandy, which made landfall in late 2012 and devastated huge swaths of New York. The hurricane was responsible for floodwaters, high winds, power outages, and property devastation on a staggering scale. At the time, statewide estimates for damages were pegged at $32 billion—roughly half of the nation’s losses.


With so many New Yorkers in need of urgent help, Senator—then-Assemblymember—Skoufis recognized serious gaps in state law that left many of his new constituents in the lurch. S.5201 would ensure that homeowners wouldn’t be left for months or even years on end, waiting for insurance companies to make them whole when they’d lost nearly everything. However, the bill faced substantial headwinds: advancing legislation taking on the insurance industry is an often challenging and complex process.    


Introduced as Skoufis’ very first piece of legislation in 2013, S.5201 was finally signed into law on January 26, 2024.


“Eleven years is a long time to wait for change to come, but our years of determination to get this done – along with, some may say, a stubborn streak – finally paid off,” said Skoufis.  “Prompt attention from insurance companies in times of emergency is going to be just as relevant in 2024, and 2025, and 2026, as it was when I first introduced this bill in the receding floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy.” 


“We need only look back a handful of months to see instances of our neighbors being devastated by flooding,” Skoufis continued. “Storms come and go, but the need for lawmakers to compel insurance companies to do the right thing never ends.”


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