DENVER (CBS4) – This year has been the costliest wildfire season in Colorado history, and insurance specialists want victims to be on alert for people who want to take advantage of them.
Those who are dealing with trying to put their lives back together after surviving a wildfire or other natural disaster are now having to deal with the possibility of being victimized again.
Even though a home may have been damaged by a wildfire or even severe weather, the good news is at least most have homeowners insurance to help replace some of what they’ve lost. However, after all the headlines, professional crooks are on the prowl in damaged neighborhoods offering what looks like help, but people need to beware — many will only cause more headaches.
Some tips for selecting a reputable contractor are as follows:
– Get more than one estimate. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away. If they’re reputable they won’t mind waiting.
– Get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, materials, time schedule, guarantees, payment schedule and other expectations should be detailed.
– Demand 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 that the contractor is bonded, carries liability insurance, and covers his/her workers with workers compensation insurance.
– Make sure that the contractor’s business card has a verifiable street address and office phone number. Never sign a contract with blanks.
– Don’t ever pay upfront.
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).
- Visit CBSDenver.com’s Wildfire Resources section.
- Read recent Wildfire stories.
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