Scam warning issued
Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:00 am
Here are a few tips from the Better Business Bureau to avoid becoming a storm chaser victim:
• Ask your insurance company about what’s covered under your policy and specific filing requirements. Also ask them to survey the damage and see whether they have approved contractors.
• Never hire a laborer or contractor on the spot. Get at least three estimates based on the same specifications and materials. Check their references, licensing and registration information with the National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies (www.nascla.org/licensing_information).
• Require written contracts that specify work to be done, materials to be used, start and end dates, responsibility for hauling away debris, and costs broken down by labor and materials. Verify that the contractor’s name, address, phone number and license number are included, as well as any verbal promises and warranties.
* Read the fine print. Some shady contracts include clauses allowing substantial cancellation fees if you choose not to use the contractor after your insurance company has approved the claim. Others require you to pay the full price if you cancel after the cancellation period has expired.
• Ask your contractor to provide proof of current insurance that covers workers compensation benefits, property damage and personal liability.
• You’ll probably be asked to pay an upfront deposit to cover initial materials – one-quarter to one-third is reasonable upon delivery of materials to your home and once work begins.
Published in The WCP 3.19.13