Avoiding Contractor Fraud and Abuse


After a major storm, don’t get destroyed by contractor fraud and abuse. Beware of these deceptive contractor tactics:

  • High-pressure sales
  • Contracts with blanks or not fully completed
  • Requests to sign away your insurance benefits to the contractor
  • Claims that they can rebate your deductible so the repair will be “free”

Follow these tips to avoid contractor fraud and abuse:

Get a Written Contract

  1. Insist on a written, detailed contract
  2. Make sure the scope of work is detailed and includes labor and material costs
  3. Do not sign contracts with blank spaces
  4. Be sure to understand the terms and agreements of the contract, as well as warrantees

Verify the Damage and Check References

  1. Call your homeowners insurance company to file a claim
  2. Work with your adjuster to verify what repairs are necessary
  3. Get three written estimates and be sure to contact their references
  4. Make sure the contractor is licensed, bonded and insured

Never Pay Contractors Up Front

  1. Pay for the work in installments
  2. Verify the work was done to your satisfaction before paying
  3. Avoid contractors who need cash to purchase materials up front or need a down payment
  4. Do not do business with contractors who will cut you a deal for pre-payment

For more information, visit the Consumer Protection Coalition at

For a list of insurance providers and their contact information, check this list below:

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