Victims of disasters in New Jersey may now get the financial help they need more quickly, thanks to prepaid debit cards issued by The Bancorp Bank (“Bancorp”), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: TBBK). The cards will be issed by Bancorp in collaboration with InsurCard.
In a press release dated today, Bancorp and Insurcard announced a program offered through the New Jersey Insurance Underwriting Association (NJIUA) to offer a program to provide immediate cash payments to New Jersey policyholders in the event of a catastrophe.
The President of the NJIUA put it this way:
We feel that providing a card to our policyholders will enable them to recover more quickly from a catastrophic situation. Cardholders are able to access funds immediately to secure items such as hotel rooms, food or clothing. Plus, external adjusting firms appointed by the Association can add additional funds to a prepaid card immediately, providing instant relief for our policyholders.
Here’s how the program works. The InsurCard Visa Prepaid Debit Card is loaded when emergency payments are required, eliminating the challenges associated with check issuance. The InsurCard can be used to make purchases wherever Visa debit cards are accepted and cardholders have access to cash through ATMs located nationwide. Policyholders can obtain account balance and transaction information 24-hours a day.
The inventor of the Insurcard, J. Robert Mendte, explains how he came up with the product:
After seeing the challenges faced by people in these very difficult situations, it was clear that there had to be a better way. By using InsurCard, insurers can provide immediate relief to their customers and continue to load payments as necessary with the press of a button.
In any designated catastrophe, representatives of NJIUA and/or field adjusters will have access to an inventory of preprinted cards. These cards remain inactive and have no value until authorized by NJIUA. After the catastrophe, adjusters will contact policyholders who have experienced losses and make an initial claim evaluation. Based on this evaluation, the cards will be distributed and activated by NJIUA either by phone or via an internet connection with an amount to be paid for immediate needs. Once activated, the InsurCard provides the policyholder with the necessary funds to meet critical needs such as food, shelter, and emergency repairs. As the recovery process continues, the card can be reloaded to pay for permanent repairs and additional living expenses.
Read more about this program in the press release here.