Bulletins Issued, Hotline Accepting Calls About Tenn. Tornados

April 17, 2006

Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Paula A. Flowers has announced that her department is ready to assist consumers and insurance companies as they work to rebuild the communities affected by last week’s tornadoes.

“In the wake of the deadly and devastating storms and tornados that struck Tennessee, victims need to know what to expect from their insurance companies, and how to avoid and report unscrupulous home repair and other disaster-related scams,” the department said.

The department has issued several consumer bulletins to help disaster victims avoid repair scams, handle insurance issues and report problems to state regulators.

“Based on what we have seen before, there may be individuals who will try to take advantage of people who’ve been victims of these storms,” Mary Clement, Tennessee’s director of Consumer Affairs said.

The first Consumer Bulletin deals with how to avoid home repair scams, which tend to emerge after these disasters. Another Consumer Bulletin advises people on what to expect from insurers, how to document damage, and how to protect against claims problems.

“We find that so many consumer complaints against insurance companies stem from misunderstanding, miscommunication or a policyholder’s failure to read and understand a policy,” Stephani Ryan, director of Consumer Insurance Services said. “There are also times when consumers are not being well served by their insurance companies, and we’re here to help in those cases.”

The department can be contacted about insurance-related issues at its tornado hotline, (800) 342-4029.

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