New Jersey Consumers to Receive Information Explaining and Summarizing Their Homeowners Insurance Policies

Trenton, NJ – April 14, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Department of Banking and Insurance Commissioner Ken Kobylowski today alerted consumers buying or renewing homeowners insurance that they will receive a one-page summary of their policy that clearly explains its terms, coverages and exclusions, starting in June.

The one-page summaries, which are required by legislation signed into law by Governor Christie in 2013 (P.L. 2013, c.53), are aimed at helping consumers better understand their homeowners policies in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

“As we worked with New Jersey consumers following that devastating storm, we saw that some homeowners didn’t fully understand their homeowners insurance policy,” said Commissioner Kobylowski. “For example, some consumers believed that homeowners policy covers flood damage.  It does not.  Flood insurance must be purchased separately. This one-page summary is one way the State is working to raise awareness of insurance issues so consumers understand clearly what their policies do and do not cover. ”

The documents were developed by the Department in consultation with the State’s insurers. The Department has developed model summaries that explain the common coverages, note general policy features, and delineate the notable coverages and exclusions by type of loss for the five most common types of homeowners insurance in New Jersey. These include: homeowners, renters, condominium, mobile home and dwelling fire policies.

The one-page summaries will be accessible here: www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/insurance/homepolicysummaries.htm.

The new law allows insurers whose homeowners policy does not fit into the templates developed by the Department to create their own one-page summary document, subject to Department review.

The legislation was sponsored by Senators Nia Gill and James Beach and Assembly Members Ruben J. Ramos Jr., Gary Schaer, Linda Stender, and Paul Moriarity.

“We expect that the one-page summary will be a valuable tool for consumers in selecting the homeowners coverage they need,” said Commissioner Kobylowski. “It is very easy for consumers to skim over an insurance policy instead of reading it carefully and asking questions of a broker or insurance carrier. I strongly urge consumers to read these one-page summaries and their policies carefully. Just taking this step can help them make better informed decisions about insurance.”

For more information on homeowners insurance, see the “Insuring Your Home” guide: www.state.nj.us/dobi/division_consumers/pdf/insuringyourhome.pdf.

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