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PAWTUCKET, RHODE ISLAND – November 19, 2012
Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC) announced the comprehensive steps it has taken to service its policyholders which have endured losses as a result of Superstorm Sandy. To date, NBIC has taken over 90,000 phone calls and created over 17,000 claims files.
Brendan Voss, Vice President of Claims and ShelterPride®, has led a CAT response team, assigning over 14,000 claims to a dedicated team of adjusters. In response to an unprecedented level of claims, the company has created a Dedicated Policyholder Call Center for Sandy (800-343-3375, Option #7), web-based claims filing, and ready access to flood denial letters to allow policyholders to quickly start their flood or FEMA claims. Most importantly, NBIC has advanced much-needed funds to policyholders for temporary living, risk mitigation & debris removal.
Todd Hart, Chief Executive Officer, explained, “Our primary focus has and remains servicing our policyholders with losses. We are responding by claims severity. We still have an unacceptable backlog of claim assignments; however, we are driving that down quickly and carefully. Our claims team is working multiple shifts, over the weekends and through the Thanksgiving holiday. I have asked the team to ensure that we have made initial contact with all claimants by no later than Thanksgiving.”
Ensuring timely payment of claims continues to be a top priority. Hart expects the loss will remain within NBIC’s reinsurance program, which is placed with “A-minus” rated or higher reinsurers. He explained that the detailed data and risk information created by NBIC’s ShelterPride® inspection process has generated strong insights into loss development, aiding in portfolio management.
“NBIC’s strategy is to take cat-exposed insurance risk, and consequently, we maintain investments in short-term, high-grade fixed-income bonds,” Hart explained. “Our reinsurance partners already have begun to advance funds to NBIC in anticipation of claims payments, assuring more than sufficient liquidity to handle all current and expected future claims.”
Hart recognized that NBIC has well capitalized investors, who are highly sophisticated and experienced with the catastrophe-exposed insurance business. Since 2008, they have made investments in support of NBIC’s growth and most recently in response to Irene in 2011.
As NBIC takes all the necessary steps during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, the company is preparing for the resumption of regular business activities. A new business moratorium for New York and New Jersey will remain in effect to ensure that all efforts in those two states are focused on servicing Sandy-impacted agents and their customers. This action also enables NBIC’s proprietary inspection capability, ShelterPride®, time to become fully operational before reopening for new business in New York and New Jersey.
“ShelterPride® is proving its worth in this event, and we want to ensure we continue to underwrite responsible homeowners. We do expect this situation to be resolved in the upcoming weeks,” Hart said.
NBIC is continuing to provide homeowner’s insurance through its agency partners in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, since Sandy had less impact on these states.
Hart thanks both insurance partners and their customers for their patience and support in this challenging time. “NBIC was built to meet the insurance needs for responsible homeowners. We intend to make good on our commitment, and recognize that a storm with the enormity of Sandy, while testing all of our capabilities, will enable us to rise to the occasion.”
About Narragansett Bay Insurance Company (NBIC)
Narragansett Bay Insurance Company, headquartered in Rhode Island, offers specialty insurance services and products to homeowners through an extensive network of independent agents along the eastern seaboard. Backed by highly rated reinsurers, NBIC has undergone a rigorous examination of its financial security and has received an “A, Exceptional” Financial Stability Rating (FSR) from Demotech, Inc., an independent financial analysis and actuarial services firm for property and casualty insurers. To find more information on NBIC, visit www.NBIC.com.