Joining us this morning is Roman Suarez with Allstate's National Catastrophe Team with tips on how to begin the recovery process, the right way to file a claim and how to avoid contractor fraud.
-Homeowners often assume their regular insurance policy will cover them in the event of a flood. But that isn't usually the case, right?
-Many types of insurance require the policy holder to understand what the plan does and doesn't cover. What does flood insurance cover?
-Call your insurance agent immediately to file a claim. Be sure to ask for specific procedures or paperwork needed to move forward with repairs
Filing a Claim:
-Once it is safe, we recommend residents dealing with the damage from the recent storms carefully inspect their homes and vehicles for damage.
-Report possible claims promptly.
-Make reasonable temporary repairs to prevent further damage.
-Inventory your home and list damaged items before your adjuster arrives.
Tips to avoid contractor fraud:
While most home-repair contractors are honest and do quality work, others do not. Here's a few things homeowners affected by the recent severe weather should keep in mind:
-Be wary of contractors who solicit door-to-door.
-Work only with licensed, bonded and insured contractors and have them provide you with documentation.
-Avoid payment-in-full up front. Some contractors may require a partial up front payment, but the amount should not exceed approximately 20 percent of the total estimate amount.
-Don't pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work - avoid making cash payments.
-Never let anyone persuade you to seek reimbursement for nonexistent or exaggerated losses or damages. This is insurance fraud, which is a felony.