In the times of disaster, communities often come together and do all they can to help their fellow citizens get back on their feet. Unfortunately, however, these events can also bring out the worst in some people as they scam victims of natural disasters out of money that was supposed to go towards restoration work.
To help you avoid getting scammed by con artists, we’ve put together this guide to help you avoid becoming a victim of restoration scams:
Verify Contractors’ Licenses
The quickest and easiest way to vet a contractor before you even have them come out to your house is to check their contractors’ license. Every state has an online database of contractors that are licensed to perform work in the state, so finding this information is not difficult and can help you avoid wasted time and potential scams.
Always Get References
Legitimate contractors will always have references available. References are a great way to vet the work the contractor has performed in the past.
Check with the Better Business Bureau
The BBB will have records of complaints that are filed against contractors in their database. Check not only with your local BBB, but also bureaus in neighboring states. This is especially important because out-of-area contractors will often move into areas after natural disasters hit.
Check Contractor Coverage
It is important to make sure the contractors you are considering have proper coverage. Surety bonds, performance bonds, and woker’s compensation ensure that the contractor has enough funds to complete the project and also prevents you from being held liable in the even that a worker is injured on the job. If you are working with an insurance agent, ask for their help. They know more about proper coverage amounts and will be happy to help you.
Communicate With Your Insurance Company Yourself
Contractors will sometimes try to convince you that they should communicate with the insurance company directly to secure more funding, reduce hassle, and speed up the restoration process. While in many cases, the contractor may be trustworthy and simply trying to make this stressful time in your life easier, some contractors will use this as an opportunity to bilk you.
Hire an Inspector
If you’re like most people, you do not know contracting industry terminology. So how do you know what the contractor is telling you is accurate? How do you know if the job was well done? An inspector can help with this. In fact, bringing in both a code inspector and a building inspector is best. They will ensure that they building is built to code and that everything that needed to be completed was completed.
Consult With An Attorney
Insurance claims contain a lot of legal contracts. Make sure that you have read each contract thoroughly and consult with an attorney to make sure everything checks out.
Disaster Restoration in the Gulf Coast Region
If you’re looking for a disaster restoration contractor you can trust in the Gulf Coast region, trust Action Restoration. Whether you have experienced flood or water damage, mold growth, fire damage, or storm damage in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Louisiana or Mississippi, Action Restoration is fully trained and licensed to help you with all your disaster recovery needs.