Orrick tornado victims now must battle insurance, scammers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Orrick tornado victims now must battle insurance, scammers

Damage in Orrick after EF2 tornado Damage in Orrick after EF2 tornado

The Missouri Department of Insurance had officials in Orrick on Wednesday provide answers to residents and business owners in the tornado-ravaged town.

The damage, while extensive, doesn't meet thresholds to get assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Residents and business owners are going to have to rely on their own insurance, their own funds and the kindness of strangers, religious groups and other aid organizations.

Rita Downs and her husband have insurance. But they are frustrated at the response they are getting after the EF 2 twister toppled four trees onto their Ray County property Saturday evening.

"We had a tree practically come through our house," she said.

One contractor said it would cost $2,000 to clean up the debris. Burt her insurance company said they will only provide $500.

"This guy was a horrible person to send out to deal with people who have been through a tornado for God's sake," Downs said. "If a whole town can get together and do the right thing, then one insurance company ought to be able to handle some claims."

KCTV5 has reached out to the insurance adjustor for comment, but has yet to hear back.

"He promised to come back and he never did," Downs said.

Downs and others who are unhappy with their insurance company should file a claim with the state, insurance department officials said.

To file a complaint or get more information, click here.

You also need to be mindful of scammers. Beware of any company that approaches you unsolicited, do not rush into a contract, ask for business cards, a business license, written estimates and references and work with your insurance company. In addition, check with the Better Business Bureau to check on a company's background.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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