Georgia’s insurance commissioner is warning that scammers could be out in neighborhoods damaged by the storms in a matter of hours, trying to take advantage.
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With new enforcement powers granted last year by the state legislature. insurance commissioner John King says he will have his investigators out in those same areas watching for wrongdoing.
“We’ve seen a lot of abuses of folks coming in right after a storm and really hammering consumers,” King told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray. “Not all of them are bad but there are some bad characters that come in after storms and we are ready for them.”
Channel 2 Investigates reported in 2018 about a public insurance adjuster and her contractor husband allegedly using $155,000 of a Henry County family’s insurance proceeds to fund their own lavish lifestyle
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The couple was at Nikki Redmond’s doorstep promising help just a day after a fire gutted her Henry County home
“It’s horrible, it’s unspeakable to do something to somebody like that,” Redmond said.
King said new enforcement powers will allow his office to better regulate, and if need be, prosecute, public insurance adjusters.
Those adjusters must use a standard state contract and cannot be both an adjuster and a contractor.
“What we’ve seen in previous storms is they’ll come in and do an estimate that is way over knowing that insurance won’t pay when it exceeds the policy limits. Then they turn around and file a lien against the property owner when the insurance doesn’t pay,” King said.
King also said there are steps homeowners can take in the time before the storm reaches Georgia to be prepared. Renters and homeowners should talk to their insurance agent to go over their coverage.
King also suggests that you take photos of any and all-important documents and save a digital copy to the cloud.