Buono bill would require insurers to provide consumers with buyer’s guide

TRENTON – In the wake of Hurricane Irene, a senator has introduced legislation that would require insurers to develop for consumers a “homeowners insurance buyers guide’’ to provide clear policy details.

Senator Barbara Buono, (D-18), Metuchen, said in a release she put forth the proposal because of homeowner confusion after the hurricane about what property damage was covered.

“Homeowners should know exactly what is contained in their policy at the time of purchase, including whether damage from certain disasters, such as a hurricane or flooding, would be covered and to the extent their policy would cover it,” Buono said in a release.

“Even when consumers are able to access their policy, they still may not be able to fully comprehend the details,” she said.

Under the bill, insurance providers would have to file the buyer’s guide with the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance as well as provide it to homeowners at the time of application and at the time of renewal. Each buyers guide would be required to include a brief description of all policy coverages and a statement on how the policy coverages deviate from the standardized policy form offered by the insurer.

Buono bill would require insurers to provide consumers with buyer’s guide