For Immediate Release: September 19, 2018

Contact: Marla Sink at 919-807-6017

Insurance Commissioner Causey to Florence victims: Don't be a victim twice

RALEIGH -- North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urged people victimized by Hurricane Florence to stay strong and avoid being taken advantage of by dishonest contractors and scam artists.

“Many of you are already under tremendous emotional stress, so the last thing you want to do is become a victim twice,” Commissioner Causey said. “You can't prevent yourself from becoming a victim of a natural disaster, but you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of insurance fraud.”

Commissioner Causey noted that a catastrophe such as Florence greatly magnifies the opportunity for fraud and abuse. “Don't be tempted to conspire in a fraudulent insurance claim,” Commissioner Causey said. “A fraudulent claim could result in your claim not getting paid. And since insurance fraud is a crime, you could end up with serious legal problems.”

Commissioner Causey urged victims of Florence to take photos of the damage to their property once they're able to return to it. He also reminded property owners that homeowner's policies generally do not cover damage caused by flooding. That is covered under FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.

Commissioner Causey offered the following tips to remember before acting on a contractor's offer for services:

To report suspected fraud, contact the N.C. Department of Insurance Criminal Investigations Division at 919-807-6840.

If you have any questions or concerns with your insurance needs, call the Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212 or visit us online at ncdoi.com.

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