NICB is committed to advancing the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion - READ MORE!

National Insurance Crime Bureau

NICB & RMIA Offer Rebuilding Advice To Homeowners Impacted By Destructive Colorado Wildfires

CA Wildfire

DES PLAINES, Ill., November XX, 2020 — In the aftermath of the  devastating East Troublesome and Cameron Peak Colorado wildfires, the National Insurance Crime Bureau and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Association are providing Coloradans with recommendations to avoid contractor fraud while rebuilding.

“A key element when rebuilding your home following a disaster is making certain you do your homework when hiring a contractor,” says Vice President of Operations, Intelligence, and Analytics John Selleck. “There are some who try to take advantage of disaster victims but doing some research before selecting a contractor will save you time, grief and money” says Selleck.

“Always contact your insurer before you commit to a contractor,” says Rocky Mountain Insurance Association Executive Director Carole Walker. “Understanding your insurance coverage and coordinating with your insurance adjuster on the front-end will help with the claim process and put you on the right road to rebuilding your home.”

The NICB and RMIA recommends this advice for Colorado fire victims:

  • Get more than one estimate and don't be pushed into signing a contract right away.
  • Get everything in writing including cost, work to be done, materials, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.
  • Request references and check them out.
  • Ask to see the salesperson's driver's license and write down the license number and license plate number.
  • Ask for proof the contractor is bonded, carries liability insurance and covers his/her workers with workers compensation insurance.
  • Check the contractor's business card which should have a verifiable street address and office phone number.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks as unacceptable terms can be added later.
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is finished. Request a lien waiver indicating the contractor has paid its subcontractors and suppliers.
  • Insurance coverage may be rendered void if intentional misrepresentation by a policyholder is discovered.

Be certain to keep all paperwork from your insurer and your contractor. In Colorado, a contractor may require you to sign a form allowing your insurer to pay the contractor directly. Routinely check on the progress of repairs and take photos throughout the duration of the project.

NICB has both 30- and 60-second PSAs about contractor fraud available for use by media outlets and websites. The PSAs are can be found on the NICB PSA platform located here.

 

If you believe you have been approached by an unlicensed contractor or adjuster, or have been encouraged to fabricate an insurance claim, contact your insurance company or call the National Insurance Crime Bureau Hotline at 1-800-TEL-NICB (1-800-835-6422).

Media Contact

If you have a question, want further information on the NICB, or to discuss insurance fraud or vehicle crime, please contact:

Tully Lehman
Public Affairs Manager
925.758.0744
tlehman@nicb.org

Brooke Kelley
Vice President of Communications
847.544.7085
bkelley@nicb.org

Or, if you are a reporter and have a request or question, please complete the Media Request 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 preventing, detecting and defeating insurance fraud and vehicle theft through data analytics, investigations, learning and development, government affairs and public affairs. The NICB is supported by more than 1,400 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $525 billion in insurance premiums in 2019, or more than 82% of the nation's property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($241 billion) of the nation's personal auto insurance. To learn more visit www.nicb.org.