Be prepared when you get unsolicited offers for a home inspection to uncover damage and/or present a claim to your insurer. Take a look at these tips from the Better Business Bureau and the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to guide you to a decision that may help prevent a home repair scammer to profit from your loss.
Don’t give in to pressure: Most would probably agree that it’s a bad idea to sign a contract with a stranger at your front door, but it happens quite frequently. The key to the scammer’s success is his ability to apply subtle pressures by using tactics and phrases like:
- “We’ve reduced our markup to secure a foothold in this market.”
- “We deal with your insurance company all of the time. They accept our estimates.”
- “Look at our signs. The entire neighborhood has suffered damage. Better sign a contract now before the cost of materials increase.”
Do your homework: When you are getting bids, be thorough and take the time to check on details. The bids should contain identical specifications for the scope of repairs, material and labor.
- Carefully vet and secure bids from at least three contractors
- Check their references, licenses and insurance
- Do not sign a contract you don’t understand, and don’t leave any spaces blank
Don’t let a stranger on your roof or into your home. Also, be aware that scammers may try to damage the roof while “inspecting” it or distract the homeowner while an accomplice ransacks the home.
We’re here to help our customers manage the risks in life and to provide trusted advice on Allstate’s products and services. Visit Allstate Be Aware and Prepare and the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety for more, helpful information. Please contact us anytime with questions you may have on how to best protect what matters most to you. Feel free to call or stop by our Manassas or Chantilly agencies soon for a free insurance review.