Click to view video accompanying this release: https://youtu.be/YCGvYBaBZes
With hurricane and wildfire seasons on the horizon in many parts of the country, damage and loss to homes from these natural disasters can be unavoidable.
The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is warning those living in areas that could suffer from a natural catastrophe to not only be prepared for the disaster, but to be on guard for fraudulent contractors and vendors who take advantage of victims in the aftermath.
Oftentimes, dishonest contractors target neighborhoods affected by disasters and make unsolicited stops at residential properties. They will take homeowners’ money, often overcharge them, and do shoddy or no work at all, promising that the insurance company will pay for it all.
Insurance fraud related to natural disasters costs billions of dollars every year, which results in higher premiums for policyholders. In some cases, individual homeowners are on the hook for up to tens of thousands of dollars they may not be able to recover.
On Tuesday, May 23rd, NICB President & CEO David J. Glawe conducted a nationwide media tour with TV stations across the country to discuss how to avoid home repair fraud after a natural disaster and many other consumer-friendly topics, as part of the organization’s third annual Contractor Fraud Awareness Week.
During the media tour interviews, Glawe discussed:
- The steps homeowners can and should take prior to a natural disaster and how preparation can help reduce chances of becoming a victim of fraud;
- The kind of fraud that takes place following disasters while victims are trying to put their homes and lives back together;
- The best practices for disaster victims when hiring contractors or vendors and tips for avoiding dishonest contractors;
- The most common methods fraudulent contractors try to scam disaster victims; and
- The resources available to help homeowners and other disaster victims dishonest contractors or report fraud when they encounter it.