Contractor fraud will be rampant within the aftermath of a pure catastrophe
The Insurance coverage Data Institute (Triple-I) and the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau (NICB) are marking this week as Contractor Fraud Consciousness Week in an effort to spotlight how householders can shield themselves from dishonest contractors.
“Dwelling contractor fraud wants fixing, as completely too many customers fall sufferer to shoddy work that places what’s oftentimes their best funding at elevated threat,” stated Sean Kevelighan, CEO of Triple-I. “The Insurance coverage Data Institute is proud to affix forces with the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau to teach householders concerning the widespread indicators of fraud and to supply steps householders can take to ensure they’re hiring a good contractor.”
In line with Triple-I, post-disaster contractor fraud scams typically begin with an unsolicited go to from a contractor who claims to need to assist victims rebuild. Dishonest contractors additionally steadily use flyers to promote their providers. Nonetheless, there are a number of methods householders can inspect a contractor’s credentials and popularity.
“Catastrophic occasions negatively influence hundreds of thousands of Individuals yearly,” stated David Glawe, CEO of NICB. “From hurricanes to floods and every little thing in between, these occasions are sometimes scary and life-changing. However what makes this influence worse is what occurs afterwards, as insurance coverage fraud targets areas affected by these pure disasters. Typically earlier than flood waters recede or rescue operations are full, dishonest contractors prey upon people who’re at their most susceptible. Earlier than hiring anybody, name your insurance coverage firm first. In case you didn’t request it, then it is best to reject it.”
Triple-I and NICB had the next suggestions for householders searching for respected contractors:
- Get not less than three written estimates and evaluate them: Within the aftermath of a pure disaster, contractors are in excessive demand. The COVID-19 pandemic and related provide chain disruptions have additionally put upward strain on labor and materials prices
- Examine credentials, together with licenses, references and insurance coverage: Respected contractors gained’t balk when requested to supply these
- Guarantee your contract contains estimated development schedules and costs for labor and supplies: If a contractor calls for full cost up entrance, the home-owner must be hesitant about doing enterprise with them. Nonetheless, it’s not unusual for contractors to request partial cost up entrance in an effort to receive crucial provides for the job
- Contact your insurer to make sure your coverage is updated: If a contractor gives recommendation on what your householders’ coverage covers, get it double-checked by an insurance coverage skilled affiliated along with your insurer
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