Beware of Irma Scammers

Home_FloodInsurance.pngBeware of Scammers

During this recovery time, it is even more important to stay vigilant of scammers. Many of you are now assessing your damages after Hurricane Irma and making the decision of working on them. It was reported on the news that there have been many contractors working on homes with no licenses and running of with thousands of dollars because they do not complete a job or never start it.

We ask, if you do hire a contractor please make sure they are licensed. To check on a contractor’s license, go to MyFloridaLicense.com and click on Verify a License or call (850) 487-1395.

Also, beware of random individuals who want to help with clearing your yards or repairing electricity. Many are out to harm those in distress during this difficult time.

Some Tips to Avoid Scammers

  • If you have damage to your home, check and see if your homeowner’s insurance company has an approved list of contractors. Some insurance companies can deal with their approved list of contractors quicker than non-approved contractors.
  • Some contractors may ask you to sign a form titled "Assignment of Benefits" - do not sign it. If you sign an Assignment of Benefits form, you will no longer have the right to receive any insurance payments and such payments will belong to the contractor. This can complicate, delay, reduce, and possibly result in the denial of a claim settlement. If you have questions about a form from the contractor, call your insurance company or claims adjuster before signing it.
  • To elude scammers from dashing off with your money, make sure they complete the repairs first. Do not provide money upfront and avoid paying in cash.
  • Also, make sure you get a written contract explaining exactly what the job will entail and the cost of the repair. You do not want the contractor to go over a certain limit and charge more without your consent.

GTE Financial wants its members to be safe and aware of scammers who want to take advantage of a community recovering.

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