After the Storm: Contractor Fraud

We are in the midst of  “active” hurricane season- and it doesn’t seem like it will be slowing down anytime soon. Just last week, forecasters from Colorado State University (CSU) increased the number of named storms from 20 to 24 and of those that will become hurricanes from nine to 12. Five of those hurricanes are predicted to be a Category 3 or higher.  

If those predictions are correct, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season could be the second most active season in history. While this might not sound alarming, it just takes one storm to bring tragedy to an entire community. 

Preparing for hurricane season starts by speaking with your insurance company or agent to make sure you have the right amount of coverage and creating digital copies of your insurance documents.    

Tornado Damage

While there is plenty of uncertainty surrounding these storms, there is one thing that we can prepare for – fraud. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently shared a news release warning Hurricane Isaias victims to be on the lookout for dishonest contractors. In some cases, the contractors will take the victim’s money, make limited repairs or no repairs at all, and disappear—leaving the property owner victimized a second time.  

After every major disaster, NICB Special Agents work diligently to inform affected communities about the possibility of fraud after a natural disaster, like the tornado that touched down in Marmora, New Jersey on August 4th.  

Special Agents Jon Rumpf and Gregory Wolfe responded to the area, walked along the path of the tornado, and spoke with affected residents. 

Agent Wolfe

Agents Rumpf and Wolfe also provided Marmora residents NICB literature regarding Disaster Fraud. 

“We always encourage homeowners to check with their insurance company or agent first to make sure the contractor they are hiring is not going to take their money and run,” said NICB Special Agent Gregory Wolfe.   

Thankfully, no deceitful contractors were in the area at the time. The community seemed to be in good spirits, as they came together to assist in cleaning up after the storm. However, we always encourage consumers, if they have information concerning insurance crime or scam they can report anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422) or submitting a form on our website.

About the National Insurance Crime Bureau: Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., the NICB is the nation's leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property-casualty insurers, self-insureds, rental car, vehicle finance, and auto auctions. To learn more, visit