Insurance commissioner to Greensboro: We’re here to help

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Seeing it in person gives North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey a humbling perspective.

"That looks like a bomb went off,” Causey said, strolling down Lansdowne Avenue south of East Florida Street. "Tragedy can strike anywhere, anytime."

He’s checking out this east Greensboro neighborhood to hear stories like Zaparah Sylvestre’s.

"I was actually pretty scary,” said the 17-year-old. The ceiling in her home collapsed this morning from water damage. To make matters worse, Sylvestre says her family is renting the home and doesn’t have insurance.

"All the damages that's been happening we pay for it,” she said.

Causey recommends anyone without insurance to get in touch with nonprofits like the Salvation Army or Samaritan's Purse. Maybe even a local church.

"I personally know people that lost everything,” Causey said.

As for those who are covered, be on the lookout for scammers.

"You don't want to let these contractors come in and go ahead and repair everything without clearing it first with your insurance company,” Causey said.

Cause says check to see the contractor’s license, or call the Department of Insurance to verify their credibility. Don’t sign any blank applications or claims forms, and always keep records and receipts. Cause says never pay in cash.

Causey is also asking folks to be patient. Adjusters are stretched thin looking at homes across Greensboro, so the insurance process may take even longer.