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Consumer help

Find out what your insurance covers

Scam artists prey on victims of storms, floods, wildfires and other disasters involving widespread property damage. To avoid costly mistakes:

  • Contact your insurance agent to find out what is covered by your policy before hiring a contractor.
  • Check the contractor’s license and complaint history with the Construction Contractors Board before signing any contract.

Red flags 

  • Flyers and business cards left on doorsteps. Legitimate contractors wait for you to contact them.
  • Anyone who appears in an area offering repairs immediately following a disaster may be a scam artist. Some pose as government officials and claim that you must pay a "processing fee" to get disaster relief payments or loans. Others pretend to be safety inspectors and tell you that expensive or unneeded repairs must be done immediately.
  • The scammer offers to start work on the spot and says you will only be charged the amount of your insurance company settlement - even before your insurer has discussed a settlement offer. 
  • The scammer asks for full payment or a large deposit up front.
  • The scammer asks for cash to buy materials even though legitimate contractors have accounts with suppliers and don't operate on a cash-only basis.