When a hurricane sweeps through a neighborhood and causes an extensive damage, you expect the home insurance companies operating in the area to be flooded with claims. Cons thrive under such circumstances so you can easily lose money to them if you aren't careful. Take these measures to avoid the scams:
Don't Make Upfront Payments
For this scam to work, a contractor will approach you for some upfront money mentioning all kinds of reasons for the request. For example, they may tell you that they need the money to buy materials for the reconstruction. While such a request may seem reasonable, those who make upfront payments often live to regret their actions. Such contractors may end up doing shoddy work, postponing the work or even disappearing completely. If you must make an upfront payment, put down a small amount that may not impact your finances substantially if the contractor fails you.
Be Careful With Offers of Relief Funds
While there are organizations that may help hurricane victims recover their losses, there are also scammers who pose as such organizations while in the real sense they are looking for people to con. They will ask you for numerous personal and financial details, for example, telling you that they need the details to confirm your identity so that you can receive the relief funds. Unfortunately, they can easily steal your identity and use it to commit other criminal acts if you give in to their requests.
Be Wary Of Assignment of Benefits Contract
An assignment of benefit contract gives a third party the power to act on your behalf while processing an insurance claim. In an ideal world, such a contract may simplify the claim process and help you get your home repaired promptly. For example, instead of processing your claim on your own and then dealing with the contractor, you can sign an assignment of benefit contract with a contractor so that they handle both the claims and reconstruction.
Unfortunately, many people abuse such contracts by inflating their charges once they know how much money the insurance company can cough up. For example, a roofing company who finds out that your insurance company can settle your roof damage claim for $5,000 can decide to charge you that amount even if the work is actually worth $4,000.
Therefore, be very careful if your house has been damaged in a storm. The people you can trust in a time like this is a local insurance company, such as Daniel L. Rust Insurance.