Post-Sandy confusion prompts N.J. to seek simple summary of insurance policies

New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation to help homeowners better understand their insurance policies.

Assemblyman Ruben Ramos says many homeowners were shocked to learn their insurance policies did not cover the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

“They saw the water coming into their homes, and I think the first thing they said is, ‘I’ll call my insurance company up and we’ll be able to take care of this and this will be covered. We’ll just have to go through the process,'” he said Tuesday. “But, lo and behold, they found a lot of things were not covered. Or the amount that they thought it would be covered up to was not, in fact, true.”

Ramos, D-Hudson, is a co-sponsor of a bill that would require a one-page summary of a policy’s coverage and exclusions.

“The more educated consumer that we have, the better consumer that we have. I think people really want to know what’s in their policies,” he said. “Policies are 75 to 100 pages long. We really want to condense that and put in terms as simple as possible so people really know what’s in there.”

The Assembly passed the measure without opposition. Ramos is hopeful the Senate will act on it within the next few months.

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