Avoid Repair Fraud
Posted: 3:33 p.m.
The aftermath of severe storm damage often results in increased consumer complaints due to contractor fraud or shoddy repairs by unlicensed contractors.
Consumers, anxious to make their homes livable again, may let their guard down and overlook the standard warning signs of a home repair scam. Using good judgment and taking the necessary precautions could save you money and frustration.
- Make sure the contractor you hire is licensed.
- Make sure the contractor has insurance.
- Verify that permits have been obtained.
- Check the contractor’s complaint history.
- Get detailed written estimates and insist on a written contract.
- Do not pay more than 10 percent down and do not let payments get ahead of the work.
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance has specially trained staff to help consumers with their disaster-related insurance questions or problems. More information is available online or contact the Bureau of Insurance at 804-371-9185 (Property and Casualty Division) or 804-371-9691 (Life and Health Division) or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560. People with hearing or speech impairments may call through the SCC’s Telecommunications Device for the Deaf and hard of hearing (TDD) at 804-371-9206. Correspondence may be mailed to the Bureau of Insurance at P.O. Box 1157, Richmond, VA 23218.