VALDOSTA -- A representative from the Office of Commissioner of Insurance will be in Valdosta from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Lowndes County Administration Building.

In addition to offering assistance with insurance problems and questions, he or she will offer complimentary homeowner, automobile, and life insurance policy reviews.

John W. Oxendine, Georgia Insurance and Safety Fire commissioner, said he feels very strongly about government leaders being accessible to the citizens. He said people should not have to drive to Atlanta to seek assistance from their state leaders.

"We go to every single county in Georgia at least once a month," Oxendine said. "It's a really great program."

During the two-hour visit, Lowndes County citizens are encouraged to ask questions about any problems they are having with insurance companies. Oxendine said his office is aggressive about helping facilitate the settlement of insurance disputes and making people happy.

Residents are also encouraged to bring in their insurance policies for review and discussion. According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, 72 percent of Americans feel they have the right amount of insurance coverage. However, only 33 percent of them understand the details of those policies "very well."

"These policies are written by lawyers," Oxendine said. "They are difficult to understand. We can help people understand what they have purchased or are about to purchase. We can also offer advice on additional services needed depending on a person's situation and needs. We can point things out they may not have thought of."

Anyone who feels they are being mistreated by an insurance company or who does not completely understand every part of their insurance policies is invited to meet with the representative, Oxendine said.

Assistance can also be obtained by calling the Office of Commissioner of Insurance at 1-800-656-2298 or visiting

The mission of the Office of Commissioner of Insurance, according to the Web site, is "to ensure that the public's interests are served through professional oversight of regulated industries, consumer protection, and broad-based educational activities."

The Lowndes County Administration Building is located on the corner of Savannah Avenue and Toombs Street.

To contact reporter Jessica Pope, please call 244-3400, ext. 255.

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