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Homeowners Insurance Problems Surge From Sandy [AUDIO]

Some New Jersey homeowners, who are demolishing and rebuilding Sandy-ravaged dwellings, are saying they cannot find an insurance company willing to cover their new houses.

The Princess Cottage Inn (R) stands across the street from a onetime residence in Union Beach
The Princess Cottage Inn (R) stands across the street from a onetime residence in Union Beach (Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

A Brick resident we spoke with says insurance companies have told both he and one of his friends, that they’re not covering homes that were demolished and rebuilt within two miles of the ocean, bay or major waterway.

He says companies told them they will only provide coverage to structures that were repaired, allowing the home’s old policy to carry over.

New Jersey Division of Banking and Insurance (DOBI) Spokesman Marshall McKnight says they’re keeping an eye on this.

“We’re finding that those consumers who are at or near the water are able to get coverage in the competitive market. It might be a little more expensive. It might be from companies that are lesser well known but there’s coverage out there.”

However, McKnight stopped short of saying that Sandy victims aren’t having difficulty obtaining insurance.

“It’s too early to tell what the long term impact will be of Sandy but so far it appears as though the homeowners insurance market in New Jersey is competitive and that people are still getting coverage.”

One Option: The ‘Fair Plan’

Now, McKnight says for homeowner’s unable to get coverage at all, there’s always the ‘Fair Plan,’ also known as the insurance of last resort.

“The Fair Plan was set up in the 60′s to help people to get insurance who couldn’t get it elsewhere. It provides minimum coverage and is financed through the rest of the industry doing business in the state.”

However, he says his records show that there’s been no peak in the number of homeowners being covered by this plan.

“We look at the size of the total enrollment in the Fair Plan to see how New Jersey’s competitive market is doing and that number now is at an all time low.”

McKnight says any consumer having difficulty shopping for homeowners insurance should contact DOBI at 1-800-446-7467 or online.

Residents can check out a website of homeowners insurance carriers doing business in the state.

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