Department of Insurance representatives set up to help tornado survivors file claims with insurance companies


As the N.C. Department of Insurance sets up an assistance center for those impacted by the April 15 tornado, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey is warning survivors to beware of dishonest contractors trying to swindle them.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to those families that were victims of this tornado,” Commissioner Causey said. “We just want to make sure that people are not victimized twice by unscrupulous contractors coming in, taking advantage of them.”

Representatives from the NCDOI staff have set up a help desk at the Willow Oaks Community Center, 1815 Everitt St., Greensboro, N.C. 27401. They’ll be there today (Monday), Tuesday, and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Department of Insurance representatives will set up a second help desk at the Peeler Recreation Center, 1300 Sykes Ave., Greensboro, N.C. 27405.

Local governments have already set up a Disaster Resource Center at the Willow Oaks Community Center to help tornado victims.

Commissioner Causey also plans on being in Greensboro on Wednesday to help victims. He has surveyed damage done by the tornado and plans to see the progress being made in the cleanup after the storm.

Commissioner Causey also is offering five tips for people if they have storm damage:

  • Contact your insurance agent as quickly as possible and ask for instructions on what to do until your adjustor arrives. Be sure to follow the company’s instructions when making your claim. Insurance companies are required to handle claims promptly and fairly.
  • Begin preparing an inventory of personal property damaged or destroyed and take pictures of the damaged property.
  • Protect your home from further damage by making temporary repairs only. Your reasonable expenses to protect your property are part of the loss and will be reimbursed by your insurance company. Save any receipts for materials purchased for temporary repairs.
  • Do not have permanent repairs made until your insurance company has inspected your property and you have reached an agreement on the cost of repairs. The company has a legal right to inspect the property in its damaged condition and may refuse to pay you for any damage repaired before it can be inspected. Don’t throw anything away before inspection by the company.
  • If your home is uninhabitable because of physical damage, most homeowners’ policies will pay additional living expenses while your property is being repaired. Before renting temporary shelter, check with your insurance company or agent to determine what expenses will be reimbursed. Again, keep your receipts.

If you have any questions or problems concerning your insurance coverage, contact the Consumer Services Division of the N.C. Department of insurance toll free at (855) 408-1212.

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Angela Brown
Angela Brown is the author of our Business & Economy section.