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National Insurance Crime Bureau

Contractor Fraud Awareness Week 2021!

Contractor Fraud Awareness Week is here!

From July 12th through July 16th, the National Insurance Crime Bureau is highlighting the problem of contractors and vendors who take advantage of disaster victims in the aftermath of catastrophes.

Contractor fraud is a multi-billion-dollar problem and the NICB encourages consumers to follow these tips in the wake of a natural disaster:

1. If It's Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!

If It's Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is!
Crooked contractors lurk in the wake of hurricanes and hail hoping to catch homeowners off guard. Be suspicious of any contractor who approaches you in the aftermath of a storm and always call your insurance before having any repairs done.

 

2. Let's See Some ID

Let's See Some ID
Ask any contractor or salesperson for their driver's license, their license plate, their state contractor's license, and proof of insurance. Don't be afraid to ask for references or search the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed regarding the contractor.

 

3. Be a Savvy Shopper

Be a Savvy Shopper
Get estimates from multiple contractors before having any repairs done. Pushy salespeople often pressure you into signing right away, but by taking your time and weighing your options, you can get quality work done for the best price possible.

 

4. Read the Fine Print

Read the Fine Print
Make sure any contract you are signing includes EVERYTHING in writing. The cost of the work, time schedules, payment schedules, guarantees, work to be done, and other expectations should all be detailed. Keep an eye out for any blank spaces. Shady contractors can fill these in after you sign!

 

5. Good Contractors Show Their Work

Good Contractors Show Their Work
Don't sign a contract that requires you to pay for the work before it is done. This allows fraudsters to take your money and skip town without doing the work.

 

For more information on Contractor Fraud and how to avoid being a victim, visit our Contractor Fraud Awareness Week page.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of Contractor Fraud or you have seen contractors and vendors canvassing residential areas hit by a catastrophe, call NICB at 800.TEL.NICB or fill out our online form.

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 Des Plaines, 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 and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $530 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, or more than 82% of the nation's property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($236 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.