Insurance Commissioner orders leniency for customers

missioner Ralph Hudgens has issued a directive ordering insurance companies to be lenient with individuals and businesses that experienced difficulty paying premiums, because of the recent troublesome weather.

According to Wayne Whitaker, spokesperson for the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, for the State of Georgia,

companies offering any type of insurance would fall under the order, including casualty, property, life and health insurance.

"I expect insurance companies to be understanding when so many of their policyholders' lives have been severely disrupted," added Hudgens. "This would include premium payments and non-renewal notification."

In addition, the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner orders insurance companies to be lenient when dealing with individuals, whose premium payments may appear to have arrived late due to the disruption of mail service, said Whitaker.

According to Whitaker, insurers that processed lawful cancellations or non-renewable notices from Jan. 5, to Jan. 14, should comply with the cancellation or non-renewal laws, to ensure that policyholders impacted unfavorable decisions have ample time to address concerns.

"Georgians who need help with late payment issues, or who have any question or problem regarding insurance, can call Commissioner Hudgens' Consumer Services Division," said Whitaker.

The division's local phone number is (404) 656-2070, he said. Residents calling from outside metro Atlanta should dial 1-800-656-2298. The division is available Monday, through Friday, from 8 a.m., to 7 p.m., he said.