Severe Weather Victim? Don’t Be Scammed!
Allstate Insurance reminds residents affected by severe weather and tornadoes to protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors. It says a good, trustworthy contractor can be a key partner in the rebuilding process. However, unscrupulous contractors may take advantage of people who have recently experienced a catastrophic event.
Here’s Allstate’s 10 tips to avoid getting scammed:
- Take your time in choosing a contractor to repair your home.
- Get estimates from several licensed, bonded contractors.
- Check their credentials with your local Better Business Bureau or Home Builders Association.
- Inspect contractors’ licenses and proof of liability insurance.
- Get a contract in writing.
- Avoid paying money up-front. Some reputable contractors will require partial, up-front payment, but these pre-work payments shouldn’t exceed the cost of materials or 20 percent of the total estimate.
- Follow local building codes and inspection procedures.
- If anyone performs unauthorized work on your house or property and demands payment, consider contacting local authorities.
- Don’t sign over an insurance settlement check to the contractor.
- Immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local police, sheriff’s department or your state’s Department of Insurance.