Proclamation Declares May 23 - 27, 2022 as "Contractor Fraud Awareness Week"
DES PLAINES, Ill., May 23, 2022 –The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the insurance industry’s association dedicated to predicting, preventing, and prosecuting insurance crime, is excited to announce that Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has signed a Gubernatorial Proclamation declaring May 23-27, 2022 as Contractor Fraud Awareness Week in the state.
“The proclamation signed by Governor Hogan is not only an honor for NICB, but serves as a reminder that post-disaster contractor fraud is something we all need to understand better to combat,” said David J. Glawe, president and CEO of the NICB. “Contractor fraud costs homeowners and insurance companies billions of dollars each year as deceitful contractors follow well-rehearsed scams to prey on disaster victims. With this Proclamation, we can bring greater awareness to post-disaster fraud and what Marylanders can do so they don’t end up being victimized twice.”
The Proclamation encourages Maryland residents to get at least three written estimates from potential contractors following a disaster, check contractor credentials, and work closely with their insurance companies during the rebuilding process.
"Property owners are most vulnerable right after a disaster has occurred and when help is most needed. We urge consumers to use common sense when hiring a contractor. Be wary of unsolicited contractors that show up at your door, offering to manage your insurance claim and promising you insurance coverage for specific repairs or replacements," warned Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane. "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Honest contractors play an important role in assessing your damage and providing the estimates and information necessary to help you make your insurance claim. But only licensed public adjusters are authorized by law to negotiate that claim with your insurers. If you have questions about what your contractor is promising or if you encounter any problems with your insurer over a claim, call us – the MIA is here to help you."
"Protecting consumers from fraudulent home improvement contractors is a primary mission of the Maryland Department of Labor and we take this responsibility very seriously. And this is especially true in the wake of a disaster,” said Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson. “Marylanders who invest their hard-earned savings in improvements to their primary asset need to feel confident in the contractor they choose to do the work. Through Governor Hogan's leadership in recognizing Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission stands ready to assist and protect Marylanders as they make life-changing investments and improvements to their home."
NICB created Contractor Fraud Awareness Week in 2021 to highlight the growing problem of contractors and vendors that take advantage of disaster victims in the aftermath of catastrophes. Throughout the week, NICB, along with its partners, will distribute materials via social media using the hashtag #CFAW2022. Additionally, NICB will engage with television outlets across the U.S. on a national media tour, participate in a Facebook Live event with AARP, and distribute new public service announcements informing the public about fraudulent contractors and how to identify them following hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, and wildfires.
“On behalf of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, I would like to thank Governor Hogan, Insurance Commissioner Birrane, and Secretary of Labor Robinson for their support and understanding of insurance fraud. Increasing awareness of post-disaster fraud will help us reduce this problem,” added Glawe.
For more information about Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, visit www.nicb.org/ContractorFraudWeek.