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Puerto Rico National Guard Citizen - Soldiers stationed at 783rd Maint. Co. in Toa Baja, PR, continue supporting this city after Hurricane Maria, this time supporting more than 6,000 gallons of water to the San Jose community, Sept. 24. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Alexis Velez.

20 lawmakers back Puerto Rico in battle with insurance companies

New Jerseyans voice support for Hurricanes Maria and Irma victims

By David Wildstein, August 29 2019 4:50 pm

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Eighteen New Jersey legislators are going to bat for residents of Puerto Rico who survived Hurricanes Maria and Irma recover damages from their insurance companies.

“As we approach the two-year anniversaries of both, Hurricane Maria and Irma that devastated Puerto Rico with damages totaling nearly $100 billion, many impacted survivors are still struggling as insurance companies are paying pennies on the dollar, and a critical deadline is looming to claim damages,” the lawmakers said in a statement released today.

Signing on to the statement were Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, Majority Leader Louis Greenwald, State Sens. Bob Andrzejczak (D-Middle), Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Barrington) and Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch) and Assemblymembers Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark, Bruce Land (D-Vineland), Matthew Milam (D-Vineland), Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield), John Armato (D-Buena), Gabriella Mosquera (D- Gloucester Township), Patricia Egan Jones (D-Barrington), William Spearman (D-Camden), Pamela Lampitt (D-Cherry Hill), Carol Murphy (D-Mount Laurel), Joseph Danielson (D-Franklin), Yvonne Lopez (D-Perth Amboy), Anette Chaparro (D-Hoboken) Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton).

According to the legislators, a critical deadline exists in the next few weeks “for businesses, individuals, hospitals, schools, condominiums, municipalities and government agencies that have not been paid by the insurance companies.

They say that municipalities and government agencies are required to file their claims immediately to receive FEMA support and financial aid.

“It is imperative that the survivors are not undercut by a pending deadlines that will leave them with a complete loss, which would be unrecoverable,” the group of seventeen said.

“This is simply outrageous because policy holders played by the rules, paid their premiums, filed their claims, provided access to their impacted properties, and are getting a raw deal. We are calling on the insurance companies to hold up their end of the deal and pay the claims that are rightfully due to policy holders,” the legislators said.

New Jersey has the third largest Puerto Rican population in the U.S., census records show.

“Our hearts went out to the victims of Hurricane Maria and Irma, and we are proud to lend our voice in support of Puerto Rico still mired in a difficult time,” the lawmakers said.

This story was updated at 10:41 AM in August 30 to include Chaparro.

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