Our thoughts are with those recovering from the impact of Hurricane Ian. Rest assured, our team is working diligently to make the claims process as easy as possible for you if you have locations that sustained significant damage.
Sadly, some unethical individuals out there wish to take advantage of those who have just suffered a loss. Service providers might try to exploit your difficult situation by inflating your repair costs or pressuring you to sign a contract you have not read. Don’t fall for these contractor scams.
Consider the following when hiring service providers:
- Be present when someone inspects your property. Companies may try to take advantage of you and your insurance company by causing additional damage to increase the repair cost.
- Anyone who offers to get you more money for your insurance claim warrants additional caution.
- Reputable contractors will NOT solicit door-to-door immediately following a storm.
- Written estimates should include an itemized list of all services and associated costs, including the hours of labor needed to complete the job.
- Please note: Your signature is NOT required to receive an estimate. Some scammers may use this tactic to trap you into signing a contract.
- A bid that is substantially lower than other bids is usually missing something significant. Carefully review all bids to ensure there aren’t items missing or unnecessary items added to the scope of work.
- High-pressure tactics can be a red flag. Don’t let the heightened stress following a loss cause you to rush the process of hiring a quality service provider.
- A formal repair contract should include approximate start/completion dates and payment procedures. It also should guarantee that the contractor will secure any necessary permits.
- Never pay a repair bill in full until the work is completed according to your contract with the provider.
- Most importantly, always hire an established, licensed, and fully insured company. Check the references they give you. Reputable contractors should be able to provide you with their certificate of liability insurance and have a business license number which can be verified here (in Florida).
Taking these precautions can help you avoid becoming a victim of post-storm contractor scams. If you have any questions about your coverage, don’t hesitate to contact your Client Service Advisor.