Atlanta

After storms damage your home, insurance experts say take your time making decisions

ATLANTA — When there’s damage from a storm, your first instinct might be to act as quickly as possible.

Insurance experts are telling Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray that you need to take your time to make sure you are making the right decisions.

They say you want to make sure the home is safe, then slow down to make sure you are making the best decisions long-term.

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Allison Gentry told Gray that she agreed to let a contractor inspect her roof in Tyrone after storm damage last year and she signed what looked like a simple, one-page document.

“Well, lo and behold, there’s a ton of fine print on the back of the paper, and they never show you the backside of the paper. It’s on a clipboard. I had no idea there was all this fine print on the backside, and it said that I owe $3,500,” she explained.

Shady contractors flood storm-damaged neighborhoods after severe weather.

“Those storm chasers are chasing your wallet,” Channel 2 Consumer Advisor Clark Howard said.

Howard says you need to do your research before doing anything beyond the most basic repairs.

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Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King recommends you write down and photograph all property damage brought by the severe weather, don’t attempt significant or permanent repairs and always beware of scammers.

If a neighbor’s tree falls on your home, under Georgia’s fallen tree responsibility laws, the responsibility typically falls on the property owner where the tree landed.

“Each party is responsible for the property damage that occurs on their property, with the only exception if the tree was clearly not healthy,” Howard explained.

He suggests filing claims with your insurance company if there is significant damage.

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