Beware of After-Disaster Scams
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – The City of Corpus Christi hope you and your family are safe and sustained minimal, if any damage from Hurricane Harvey. Unfortunately, some of the most common "after-disaster" scams involve home repairs, clean-up efforts, heating and cooling equipment, and flood-damaged cars.
While many of these people are honest and reputable, some may not have your best interest at heart. Here is a recommended list of steps to take in order to protect yourself and your wallet from unscrupulous operators:
- Check with your insurance company about policy coverage and specific filing requirements
- After you file your claim, contact the insurance adjuster assigned to your property damage claim and ask the adjuster to make an estimate of the damage and the probable cost to repair. This will provide you with a benchmark estimate prepared by a professional that you can use when negotiating with contractors
- Shop around for contractors, get competitive bids, check out the contractor’s references, licenses, and insurance, and check with the Better Business Bureau at https://www.bbb.org/central-texas.
- Consider using a local contractor, who will have a reputation you can check and a location you can verify.
- Ask the contractor whether the cost of the building permit and Texas Department of Insurance Windstorm Certificate (WPI8) is built into the contract or added to the cost.
- Prepare a written agreement with anyone you hire. It should delineate the work to be done, the materials to be used, and the price breakdown for both labor and materials. Review it carefully before signing.
- Never pay for all repairs in advance, and don't pay cash.
- Never sign a contract with blanks that have not been filled in as the blanks could be filled in later with unacceptable terms.
- Consider having a lawyer review the proposed contract before you sign.
For more information contact Interim Development Services Assistant Director Gene Delauro, (361) 826-3240 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest updates on Hurricane Harvey Recovery, stay connected at http://www.cctexas.com/harvey. Details are also available at facebook.com/citygov and at twitter.com/cityofcc.