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Georgia’s insurance commissioner has issued a stern message to the insurance industry in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, saying in a directive to insurance companies on Thursday that they are to exercise leniency in dealing with Georgia residents that may experience difficulty paying their premiums due to Hurricane Irma.

“I expect insurance companies to be compassionate and understanding when so many of their policyholders’ lives have been severely disrupted,” said Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens. “This includes premium payments and nonrenewal notifications.”

Accordingly, Hudgens directed insurers to provide relief to Georgia policyholders, including exercising leniency where premium payments may appear tardy due to the disruption of services as a result of the hurricane.

Likewise, the directive said insurers that have or will process lawful cancellation or nonrenewal notices during the time in which Georgia is in a State of Emergency are encouraged to ensure that policyholders impacted by legal adverse underwriting decisions have sufficient time to address their insurance needs.

Georgians who need help with late payment issues, or who have questions or problems regarding insurance, can call Hudgens’ Consumer Services Division at 1-800-656-2298. Phones are answered from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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