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Christie sending insurance officials to Sandy-hit counties

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After two weeks overseeing delivery of emergency supplies to victims of Sandy, Gov. Chris Christie will deliver his cabinet.

The governor is sending representatives from the Department of Banking and Insurance to Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties on Thursday, making them available to assist businesses and consumers with the insurance claims process.

"The idea here is to get into the communities that have been most devastated by the storm as they now go into the next phase of this, which is collecting on insurance and having their claims handled and getting their businesses back up to speed by having access to capital," Christie said during a press conference Tuesday.

DOBI representatives will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Sayreville Senior Center; the West Park Recreation Center, in Oakhurst; and the Berkeley Township Recreation Center, in Bayville.

Senior DOBI staff will join consumer representatives at the centers, as will a representative from the governor's office. Christie said acting Commissioner Ken Kobylowski will also float around between the three sites.

"We don't want people to have to worry about getting on the phone with the banking and insurance department," Christie said. "We're going to bring the banking and insurance department to them, so they can have their questions answered on scene. And if there's interventions we need to make with insurance companies, we can do that in a real-time basis for them."

Christie also said Kobylowski has been in contact with the state's banks, who have reported their willingness to assist businesses in the wake of the storm.

The governor said he plans to hold more "mobile cabinet" sessions in the future if the first one goes well.

Those with questions are asked to bring their insurance policies and any claims information with them to the mobile office in order to expedite the process.

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