These are simple, effective steps that a person can take to avoid being ripped off from an illegitimate contractor.
Applying some quick research with the Better Business Bureau and trusting your instincts can help save some problems. Also, try these 11 points to avoid getting scammed.
• Take your time in choosing true professionals to repair your home.
• Get estimates from several licensed, bonded contractors.
• Check their credentials with your local Better Business Bureau or Home Builders Association.
• Ask your neighbors what they’re paying for similar work.
• Inspect contractors’ licenses and proof of liability insurance.
• Get a contract in writing.
• Avoid paying money up-front. Some reputable contractors will require partial, up-front payment, but these pre-work payments shouldn’t exceed the costs of materials or 20 percent of the total estimate.
• Follow local building codes and inspection procedures.
• If anyone performs work on your house or property without your permission, don’t pay them, and contact your local authorities.
• Avoid signing over an insurance settlement check to a contractor.
• Immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local police, sheriff’s department and Allstate agent.
For more information on insurance topics, post-storm home recovery, or other safety topics, contact your local Allstate agent.