with your insurance company as soon as possible.
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to start the rebuilding process. See a list of resources to assist in working with your insurance company below.
Hiring a contractor to rebuild? Check the license.
Homeowners who hire licensed contractors have access to consumer protections that are invaluable when rebuilding.
Nearly all home improvements require a contractor’s license.
Even tree removal of trees requires a license with the CCB or Landscape Contractors Board.
If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you may have limited or no recourse if your project goes badly.
- Verify the contractor has an active license: https://www.ccb.state.or.us/search/
- Check their complaint history.
- Check their references.
- Carefully review written notices and contracts from your contractor.
Having a hard time using the license search tool? Have
questions about who needs a license? Call our office; we can help.
Know what to include in the contract
- List of materials including quality, quantity, weight, color, size, etc.
- List of allowance items and the budgeted amount.
- List of permits and who will get them.
- Payment schedule.
- Agree that change orders will be signed by you and your contractor.
- Workmanship warranties.
- Copies of the CCB required residential construction notices.
Contracts are required for jobs over $2,000.
Protect yourself from scams.
Scam artists often take
advantage of homeowners during the rebuilding phase following a
disaster. One of the ways you can protect yourself is by knowing the warning signs of a scam.
A scam artist may:
- Require you to make large up-front payments.
- Use pressure tactics either soliciting door-to-door or over the phone.
- Make “limited time offers".
Never sign over your insurance check in one lump sum. Many reputable contractors charge a portion of the payment up front and the rest upon completion.
Scam artists often show up with “extra materials” used to
make repairs they claim is leftover from a job they just completed nearby. They
may promise to do the work quickly and at a steep discount so they can use the rest
of their leftover materials. Often, homeowners feel like they have to act now
or miss out on an opportunity.
Find more information about scams and fraud on the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection website. Call the consumer hotline for questions at 1-877-877-9392.
Know your insurance resources.
The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation's Advocacy team has shared the advice below for homeowners navigating insurance claims.
If you are feeling pressure from your insurance
company to settle, or if you feel like you are not making progress with
your claim, call the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation's Advocacy
Team at 888-877-4894 (toll-free).
- According to a spokesperson from the Department of Consumer and Business Services Division of Financial Regulation, wildfire damage in Oregon is covered just like a kitchen or electrical fire would be covered under your insurance policy.
- If your home is damaged contact your insurance company as soon as possible to file a claim.
- Take photos of damaged property and do not make any repairs until your insurance company has seen it.
- Ask about additional living expenses. Most policies will help cover extra expenses such as lodging, food, even pet boarding while you are unable to live in your home.
- Recovery takes time. Be patient, the settlement process could take months as estimates are gathered and repairs are scheduled.
- Visit dfr.oregon.gov and press the RED wildfire resources button for more information.
Get permitting information.
Oregon Building Codes Division has posted information for homeowners during the rebuild process. Visit their wildfire resources website at https://www.oregon.gov/bcd/Pages/wildfires.aspx for information about:
- Permit requirements for residential damage recovery
- Manufactured homes replacement and repair
- Manufactured home ownership document retrieval
Get information and
updates about waste and debris removal.
State of Oregon is working with federal, state and local partners to safely
address ash and debris from the 2020 Oregon wildfires. You can sign up to
receive updates on these efforts.
Find out if you may
qualify for federal disaster assistance.
the FEMA app
1-800-621-3362, TTY 1-800-462-7585, or if you use 711-relay or video relay
services, call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone lines are operated
from 7:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. PDT seven days a week