Bankruptcy as an Answer to Inadequate Insurance Coverage During Hurricane Sandy
The water had barely subsided after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012 when financial worries began to mount. Many families lost their homes and life savings to the wind, rain and storm surge.
Adding insult to injury, many of those affected had property insurance that proved inadequate. One homeowner in New Jersey posted a sign in front of his destroyed home that explained his insurance provider sent him a check for $37 after applying his $1,000 policy deductible.
With mounting costs that for some include paying mortgages on uninhabitable properties, in some cases compounded by job losses because of closed businesses, thousands of people in the path of Sandy continue to endure financial hardship a year later. The big numbers tell the story that is being played out one family at a time:
- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pumped 720 Olympic-size pools of muddy water from storm-affected neighborhoods.
- New Yorkers paid about $100 per cubic yard for removal of debris from their properties.
- Total damage from Sandy was $65 billion. The only more costly natural disaster in U.S. history was Hurricane Katrina, which also had a much higher loss of life.
Homeowners who lost everything in the storm might consider filing for bankruptcy as a means of protecting other assets. Depending on which county of New York the home was located, a homeowner exemption up to $150,000 can be claimed. Speak with a New York bankruptcy attorney about Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 filing options for post-Sandy recovery.