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Fire Department can't bill insurance companies

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

July 1, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Albany firefighters can no longer bill insurance companies whose clients cause car wrecks. In the past three years, the Albany Fire Department recouped $85,000 of costs they incurred responding to car wrecks.

They previously billed the insurance companies of the people responsible for the wrecks, but Senate Bill 348 is now law, and prohibits that. "The way we looked at it was, the insurance company is really the one that's benefiting. If we have all this equipment to make that rescue or make that scene less hazardous, then ultimately it saves the insurance company monies for cleanup, medical expenses, those kinds of things we thought it was a fair trade off with the insurance companies," said Fire Chief James Carswell.  He went to the capitol and urged Senators to vote against the bill. Senator Meyer von Bremen of Albany, along with seven others voted against the bill.

The city will incur the costs of the equipment and cleanup of those wrecks. Hazardous spills will still be covered by insurance companies.

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