When you file a claim with your home owner’s insurance, your insurance company can at their discretion subrogate your claim back to JCP&L. This means at no cost to you your insurance provider’s subrogation department will seek to recover the total amount of your claim – both your deductible and the amount they paid you. It is a way for them to recover your claim amount when another party may be at fault.
Subrogation is more typical in automobile claims where more often someone is at fault versus home claims which are more typically an act of nature. But, in the case where another party is at fault or has a part in causing the damage, your insurance company can subrogate the claim and look to recover it from the other party’s insurance company.
If they are successful, you will get your full deductible back.
JCP&L is self-insured, meaning they will deal with your insurance company directly. Of course, they will deny culpability. The best case for your insurer is to notify JCP&L they are subrogating the claim to them but also inform them that they are WAITING on the conclusion of the BPU investigation before looking to reach a final conclusion around liability. If BPU’s investigation finds a lack of preventative maintenance or delivery of Service below standards in any way, it will be a much easier case for your insurer to recover from JCP&L. (Note: If you are taking direct legal action against JCP&L, the same would apply. WAIT till the BPU report is concluded. It will help support your case, or let you know if you have no case.)
In some cases if both parties in subrogation cannot come to terms, it is possible for it to be put into arbitration. This is a good case for the home owner. You’ll be asked to testify at a small private hearing wth bth sides there, and can explain, you – like the many other homeowners affected – did nothing and were damaged by what JCP&L delivered that morning. Save your damaged equipment, pictures of them and all receipts or replacement quotes to bring with you.
Subrogation and possible arbitration costs you nothing. The insurance providers for you and JCP&L hash it out. Your provider will more likely pursue surogation more readily if they paid you out a decent amount – meaning their cost to go after JCP&L will be substantiated by the amount they have to potentially recover. It doesn’t matter if you just filed the claim or have already been paid out. Call your insurance company. Let them know you believe JCP&L is at fault, and ask them to subograte your claim to recover your deductible. You have nothing to lose!
As per JCP&L, the contact to give your insurance company is:
JCP&L – Claims Department
300 Madison Avenue
PO Box 1911
Morristown, NJ 07962-1911
For a phone number contact, refer them to the phone number for the specific Claims Manager listed in the letter that JCP&L sent you.
Note: Some insurers may not subrogate since they feel they cannot based on NJ Title 59.26 [currently researching this further for our insurance company]. However, BPU so far has made it clear that individuals can certainly go after JCP&L via small clam or civil court.