Allstate Issues Tips to Avoid Insurance Scams After Storms

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

NORTHBROOK, Ill., Nov. 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — While most home-repair contractorsare honest and provide quality work, Allstate Insurance reminds homeowners affectedby the recent tornadoes to be on the lookout for workers and companies engaging incontractor fraud.

Here are some ways to avoid getting scammed by contractor fraud in the aftermath ofthe storm.

Be wary of contractors who solicit door-to-door. Work only with established contractors and those who have a solid reputation.

Work only with licensed, bonded and insured contractors and have them provide you with documentation.

Require references and check them out.

Check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against contractors you are considering. Victims of contractor fraud often file complaints.

Don’t feel pressured into signing a contract, and never sign a contract with blanks. A contract should include the contractor’s name, business name, phone number and address.

Avoid payment-in-full up front. Some contractors may require a partial up front payment, but the amount should not exceed approximately 20% of the total estimate amount.

Never let work begin on your home or business until the contract is finalized.

Don’t pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work and avoid making cash payments.

If anyone performs unauthorized work on your property and demands payment, consider contacting authorities.

Never let anyone persuade you to seek reimbursement for nonexistent or exaggerated losses or damages. This is insurance fraud, which is a felony.

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