Georgia insurance commissioner warns of home repair ripoffs - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

GA insurance commissioner warns of repair ripoffs

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ATLANTA (WTOC) -

Insuranceand Safety Fire Commissioner Ralph Hudgens is warning homeowners about pricegouging by "unreputable contractors" after winter weather caused damage aroundthe state earlier this month.

Theoffice has reported it has already received consumer complaints about highprices for tree removal. "Thousands of Georgia's homeowners were victims oflast week's snow and ice storms; they don't deserve to now become victims ofstorm pricing," Hudgens said in a statement.

Theinsurance commissioner offered these tips for hiring contractors and settlinginsurance claims:  

Only work with licensed and insuredcontractors.

Be wary of builders or contractorswho go door-to-door selling their services, especially those who are not knownin your community.

Don't rush into signing a contractfor work. First, work to get at least three written estimates from differentcontractors. Also, ask if there's a cost for getting an estimate beforeallowing them into your home.

Don't automatically go with thelowest bidder. Get a copy of the final, signed contract.

Beware of fly-by-night operationsthat offer cheap repairs. Consumers should hire someone who will stand by theirwork and can be located if problems arise.

Only pay for the work using a creditcard or check.

If you have not heard from your insuranceadjuster, call them again. 

If you are staying elsewhere, leavea sign displayed at your home with your insurance company's name and your nameprominently displayed to help insurance adjusters find your house. 

Do not post your policy numberor claim number on a sign or where other people can find it.

Anyonewith questions about an insurance claim can call the Consumer ServicesDivision at 404.656.2070 or 800.656.2298 between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondaythrough Friday.

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