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National Insurance Crime Bureau

Fraud Resources After a Disaster

If you didn’t request it, reject it.

If you believe you’ve been approached by an unlicensed contractor or adjuster, or have been encouraged to fabricate an insurance claim, contact your insurance company or NICB immediately.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud can report it anonymously.

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Disaster Flag Tuscaloosa Tornado 2011
Tuscaloosa–Birmingham Tornado - 2011

A catastrophe greatly magnifies the opportunity for fraud and abuse.

Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hailstorms—becoming a victim of a disaster may be impossible to avoid. However, it's entirely possible to avoid dishonest contractors lurking in the wake of a disaster if you're equipped with the right information.

After a disaster, contractors often go door-to-door in damaged neighborhoods offering cleanup or repair services. While many of these people are honest and reputable; others are not. Dishonest contractors may try to pocket more profit by:

  • Accepting payment then never completing (or even showing up for) the job.
  • Using inferior materials or performing shoddy work that’s not up to code.

 

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Watch out for these scams to avoid being victimized by dishonest contractors:

 

Tips

House disaster damage
Call Your Insurance Company First

Review these tips to avoid fraud after a catastrophe:

WORKING WITH INSURANCE

  • Call your insurance company first if you think you might have damage from a storm or other disaster.
  • Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance.
  • Never let a contractor interpret the language of your insurance policy or discourage you from contacting your insurance company.
  • Be on the lookout for people calling and saying they are with a national carrier. Do not provide ANY personal information over the phone without them first confirming a claim number. If something sounds fishy, report it to your insurance company immediately.
  • Note that insurance carriers will never ask you to pay your deductible up front or over the phone.

HIRING A CONTRACTOR

  • Get more than one estimate. Never let a contractor pressure you into hiring them.
  • Work with only licensed and insured contractors.
  • Demand references and check them.
  • Ask to see the salesperson’s driver’s license, write down the license number and their vehicle’s license plate number.

GETTING THE WORK DONE

  • Get contract terms in writing. Cost, time schedules, payment schedules, guarantees, work to be done, and other expectations should be detailed.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks.
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished, and ensure reconstruction is up to current code.
Disaster roofing contractors
Don’t Get Victimized Twice

 

Report Disaster Fraud

 

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General Contractor Fraud Tips  Roofing Contractor Infographic  Hail Damage Tips

Contractor Fraud Tips Graphic 2020 AF

 

Brochures

Disaster Fraud  Hail Damage Fraud

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