About 225,500 Puerto Rico insurance claims unsolved after Hurricane María
SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Insurance Commissioner Javier Rivera confirmed during a public hearing Tuesday that insurers on the island have resolved only 36.54% of reported claims for Hurricane Maria damage in September, equivalent to a payment of over $ 1,062 million to the insured.
The remaining 63.46% of the claims, or about 225,500, up to January are still pending insurer action.
Rivera said he was not satisfied with the work of insurers and said they need to optimize their operations.
“The existence of unresolved claims more than 120 days since they were filed is an untenable practice that our office will not allow to occur,” Rivera said when reading his testimony before the House Consumer, Banking and Insurance Affairs Committee.
Although several insurers affirmed they have complied with the payment of hundreds of thousands of policies since the hurricane, Rivera recalled that, his office has issued more than $2.4 million in fines to six insurers after confirming more than 3,000 violations to the Insurance Code.
“It should be noted that most of the sanctions correspond to claims that took 120 days or more…without being resolved,” the official explained.
According to the United Retailers Association (CUD by its Spanish initials), after conducting a survey among its membership of small and midsize businesses, insurers have yet to make payments on 76% of the claims filed September and October.