Businesses must have had insurance
As the owner of a licensed public insurance adjusting company that deals with fire and flood losses every day, I would like to point out that fire and flood policies are different.
Flood policies have limited coverage, fewer rights, a $500,000 policy limit on commercial buildings and a $250,000 limit on contents, which can leave the owners of commercial properties struggling to rebuild after a flood.
Fire policies can have full replacement-cost coverage with much broader entitlements. A good fire policy should have total indemnification for the owner, which means no money out of his or her pocket.
Gov. Chris Christie has hastily pledged $15 million in taxpayer money to the Seaside Heights and Seaside Park Boardwalk business owners without understanding some of the critical issues involved, such as: What fire coverage do the business owners have? What if all business owners are properly insured and indemnified?
Were businesses underinsured? Why? If business owners collected on flood claims, does the governor plan to pay them again for the same repairs? Did the business where the fire started have flood insurance? If its owners were paid by flood insurance to replace their faulty electrical wiring, why didn't they? Will that business owner still get taxpayer dollars?
If an individual property burns to the ground and the owners are not properly insured, they are out of luck. Why do these business owners get a $15 million boost? Will the same apply to a major South Jersey fire loss a year from now? How about 10 years from now? What about the Sandy flood victims who still cannot open their businesses or return to their homes?
In an emotional moment, and at a great photo op, the governor threw $15 million of our money at a problem that he does not understand the answers to.
Licensed Public Adjuster
We are all paying for Christie's party
Good news, you're invited to a party. The bad news is the party will be at your house and you will have to pay for it.
That's what Gov. Chris Christie's decision to spend $15 million of Hurricane Sandy relief funds on the Boardwalk fire in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park feels like.
The money comes from a Sandy relief fund described by a Trenton insider as "underutilized." The audaciousness of Trenton knows no bounds.
While thousands continue to suffer after Sandy, the governor decides to instantly grant an enormous sum to one of his favorite areas. President Christie? The writing for that administration is surely on the wall.
I am positive that if I asked him about this outlay at a "town hall" meeting - also known as a campaign rally - he would call me an idiot. The truth and proof of the matter is, as is said, in the pudding. Show me what you do, not what you say you do.