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Mother Nature is an uncontrollable force.  Hurricanes, tornado’s, and tropical storms can cause damage with little or no warning.  Luckily for us, there are a number of contractors out there ready to help piece together your home.  While many of them are genuine helpful people, there are a few shady crooks out there and one thing you don’t want, is to get swindled.  Take a moment to consider the following red flags and you can protect yourself from the numerous contractor scams which exist.

The first step you can take to prevent a scam from occurring is to get several quotes.  Find out various pricing before you settle on a contractor.  Also be careful not to accept the lowest bill simply based on price.  Anyone pitching you a “special deal” should be questioned thoroughly.  Also be wary of local contractors who drive unmarked vans and lack professional business cards and letterheads.

The second step you can take to avoid getting tricked is by avoiding any contractor who tells you to pay in cash, and in full.  Never pay a contractor with cash, as he may be trying to avoid paying taxes on it as well as disappear once payment is done.  At max, pay 20 percent of the final cost upfront and the rest upon the jobs completion.

The final step to protecting your home and your money is to have more than one adjuster evaluate the property damage on your home.  Most adjuster schemes charge you a large fee and disappear immediately, refer you to a dishonest contractor for a kickback, and file false or inflated claims.  Make sure any adjuster or contractor has the proper licensing and ask for references.

No one likes to be tricked.  We know how difficult it can be to suffer from property damage due to natural disasters but by taking the proper precautions, you can have your home repaired without having to worry about dishonest schemes.  Contact your insurance broker today if you have any more questions or if you suspect insurance fraud.

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