CHELSEA — The state will pick up the slack if insurance companies can't cover Chelsea bombing victims’ medical bills and business and homeowners’ losses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
At a press conference in front of glass and mirror shop King David Gallery on West 23rd Street Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised local businesses and residents affected by the blast that the state’s Department of Financial Services would help expedite their damage claims.
“In a situation like this, we would hope that the insurance companies would be cooperative,” Cuomo said.
Losses that aren’t covered by private insurance, however, will be paid for by money from an emergency fund established at the beginning of the year, he said.
Victims who have to pay out-of-pocket for injuries they sustained during the blast or lost income because they missed work will be reimbursed with money from that fund, he noted.
Cuomo made his announcement a day after Rep. Nydia Velazquez sent a letter urging his office to provide assistance to small businesses, homeowners and renters affected by Saturday’s explosion.
It is still too early to say how much state funding will be needed to cover said costs, Cuomo said during the press conference.
Sarit Peretz, 31, who co-owns King David Gallery with her father Daniel Peretz, 65, said their business had to replace its storefront after it was destroyed by the blast.
Most of the mirrors in the store — which has been on West 23rd Street for more than two decades — shattered during the explosion, she added.
She and her father are still trying to determine exactly how much the damage their store sustained will cost them, she said.
“We hope it will help,” she said of Cuomo’s plan. “If the insurance doesn’t cover it, I know who to reach out to.”