As Hurricane Idalia approaches Georgia, Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner John F. King is urging Georgia consumers to protect themselves and their families both before and after the storm.
“In the last few years, we have seen the incredible amount of damage that storms like Hurricane Idalia can bring through toppled trees, downed power lines, and more,” said Commissioner King. “We know that any level of property damage can be devastating for Georgia families, which is why our office is offering several tips to help families weather the aftermath of this storm.”
Before the storm, make a list of all your covered items (furniture, electronics, appliances, valuables, etc). Make sure to keep an electronic copy of this list, which should include pictures.
Write down and photograph all property damage brought by Hurricane Idalia, including broken windows, damaged roofs, lost personal items, and more.
Notify your insurance company of any damages immediately.
Do NOT attempt significant or permanent repairs.
If it is safe to do so, you can cover your roof with a tarp or board up broken windows, but leave the significant repairs to the experts.
Save all receipts. They will be useful if you file a claim with your insurance company.
Beware of scammers.
Be wary of anyone knocking on your door offering unsolicited repairs to your home.
Be suspicious of contractors who try to rush you, especially on non-emergency or temporary repairs.
DO NOT SIGN any document from any contractor until you have spoken to your insurance company DIRECTLY.
Be especially cautious of out-of-state contractors.
Do not believe a contractor who says they are supported by the government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does not endorse individual contractors or loan companies. Call FEMA toll-free at 800.621.FEMA for more information.
“We have a talented, world-class consumer services team that stands ready to help any Georgian with insurance questions in the wake of Hurricane Idalia,” King continued. “Whether you are dealing with a bad actor or just have a question about how to work with your insurance company, call toll-free at 1-800-656-2298.”