The average homeowner isn’t likely to know the actual cost of any materials or labor that goes into home repairs. As a result, it’s important to stay informed when dealing with contractors to reduce the risk of contractor fraud. Otherwise, you may end up paying for repairs you don’t need or getting overcharged for the services you requested. Use these tips to avoid contractor fraud concerns.
Common Fraud Characteristics
It’s often said that if something seems too good to be true, then it probably is. This advice is invaluable when it comes to dealing with contractor fraud. To avoid fraud, look out for the following suspicious characteristics:
- Contractors that contact you looking for work
- Unsolicited, free home inspections that turn up problems you were previously unaware of, or discounted rates that are only offered that day
- Pushiness on behalf of the contractor that requires you to commit to repairs immediately
- Contractors that request money in advance
Do Your Research
Remember, if you didn’t contact the contractor, you probably don’t need them. Be wary of any contractor that shows up at your door out of the blue and claims that your home is damaged. To ensure that the problem they discovered is a legitimate concern, always get multiple opinions before committing to any services. In addition, make sure you do your research before selecting a contractor—ask your neighbors for contractor recommendations and look at online reviews.
Be Wary of Insurance Fraud
Another dangerous type of fraud involves using a homeowners insurance to pay for unnecessary repairs. If a contractor causes intentional damage to an area of your home and convinces you that it is an acceptable use of your insurance policy, you may be held liable for insurance fraud.
That’s why it’s important to always contact your trusted broker before making a claim. Your broker will ensure that you are using your homeowners policy correctly and make you aware of potential fraud risks. For more personal risk management guidance and homeowners insurance solutions, contact us today.