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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker calls for probe into unprocessed Hurricane Maria claims

Rep. Yashira Lebrón Rodríguez

By The Star Staff

Bayamón District Rep. Yashira Lebrón Rodríguez announced Tuesday that she will be filing a resolution to investigate the reasons why more than 303,924 insurance claims associated with the impact of Hurricane Maria in September 2017 have not been addressed.

“The last four-year period (2017-2020), together with … former representative Maricarmen Mas, we worked to ensure that insurers complied with citizens. We were even the first to submit legislation to regulate the practice of public adjusters in the face of what happened with Hurricane Maria,” Lebrón Rodríguez said in a written statement. “However, almost seven years later, the fact that 300,000 claims, most of them related to condominium complexes, condominiums and walkups, are pending worries us a lot, especially when we are informed that this hurricane season will be a very active one.”

A report from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner revealed that of the outstanding claims, about 200,419 are for residential property, the majority for condominiums. Another 33,478 are for commercial property, while 39,247 pertain to personal motor vehicle damage, among other effects.

“We can understand that some processes are delayed due to discrepancies in cost estimates, but seven years is too long,” said the author of the Condominium Law for Puerto Rico (Law 129-2020). “The Office of the Commissioner of Insurance has indicated that insurers are solvent at this time, so we believe that there is no reason why so many claims, over $23 million, are still pending disbursement. We are going to file a resolution to determine, in detail, the reality of this delay and what can be done to speed up payments.”

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