5 signs of fraudulent contractors

09/24/2018
Dealing with damage after a storm can be a frustrating and whirlwind experience. Unfortunately, it is this type of scenario which fraudulent contractors can prey on you and compound the problem into something far worse.
If someone shows up to your door following a storm and acts in one of these manners, be suspicious and, if you feel the need, contact the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
    1. High Pressure Sales Tactics & Cash Payment
      1. Following a storm, a contractor offers you a “great price” for repairs but requires you to pay in cash. The contractor is pushy and requires you to agree to work on the spot and pay an upfront down payment.
    2. “Don’t Talk to Your Insurance Carrier”
      1. Deceitful contractors know the more people you involve in a transaction, the more likely fraud may be uncovered.   Insurance companies, like Westfield, are aware of many common ploys by dishonest contractors. If you feel uneasy, we welcome you to contact us or your carrier.
    3. Power of Attorney
      1. If a contractor suggests the execution of a power of attorney so they may work directly with your insurance company, a red flag should be raised. This situation takes a claim out of your hands and may provide you little recourse if you are unhappy with work completed.
    4. Non-Complete Contracts
      1. Contracts can be long and confusing and a dishonest contractor is banking on you not understanding them. The contractor may draft contract language to hamper your ability to pursue legal recourse to enforce said contract. It is wise to have your legal representation look at any contracts before you sign.
    5. “Can I See Some ID?”
      1. Many states require contractors to register or license their business. Check your states requirements and make sure your contractor is in compliance. The Better Business Bureau and other various review organization can also be used as a source to verify the legitimacy of a business.

    Contractors are, by and large, upstanding people. As with other lines of business and professions, the conduct of a few can reflect poorly on the many. As with any transaction, conduct your due diligence and take your time before agreeing to or paying for work. Remember your insurance agent and carriers are also here to help!