Contractor fraud might 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 as a way to spotlight how owners can shield themselves from dishonest contractors.
“Dwelling contractor fraud wants fixing, as solely too many shoppers fall sufferer to shoddy work that places what’s oftentimes their biggest funding at elevated danger,” stated Sean Kevelighan, CEO of Triple-I. “The Insurance coverage Data Institute is proud to hitch forces with the Nationwide Insurance coverage Crime Bureau to coach owners in regards to the widespread indicators of fraud and to supply steps owners can take to verify they’re hiring a good contractor.”
In line with Triple-I, post-disaster contractor fraud scams usually begin with an unsolicited go to from a contractor who claims to wish to assist victims rebuild. Dishonest contractors additionally ceaselessly use flyers to promote their companies. Nonetheless, there are a number of methods owners can check out a contractor’s credentials and fame.
“Catastrophic occasions negatively affect thousands and thousands of Individuals yearly,” stated David Glawe, CEO of NICB. “From hurricanes to floods and every thing in between, these occasions are sometimes scary and life-changing. However what makes this affect 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 weak. Earlier than hiring anybody, name your insurance coverage firm first. For those who didn’t request it, then it’s best to reject it.”
Triple-I and NICB had the next suggestions for owners on the lookout for respected contractors:
- Get not less than three written estimates and examine 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 stress on labor and materials prices
- Test credentials, together with licenses, references and insurance coverage: Respected contractors received’t balk when requested to supply these
- Guarantee your contract contains estimated building schedules and costs for labor and supplies: If a contractor calls for full fee up entrance, the house owner ought to be hesitant about doing enterprise with them. Nonetheless, it’s not unusual for contractors to request partial fee up entrance as a way to receive essential provides for the job
- Contact your insurer to make sure your coverage is updated: If a contractor presents recommendation on what your owners’ coverage covers, get it double-checked by an insurance coverage skilled affiliated together with your insurer
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