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Dealing with incompetent contractors. Following a flood or fire, insureds should be aware that some contractors may be unethical or incompetent. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Immediately after a fire, flood or other catastrophe, policyholders are overwhelmed and in shock at the amount of damage to their home or business, and unsure of the next steps to take beyond notifying their insurance company. Since most insureds have not experienced this degree of loss before, they are easy targets for unscrupulous individuals offering their services and making promises they may be unable to keep.

Solicitations may come from companies offering to handle the insurance claim, secure the property to prevent unauthorized entry, set up temporary fencing or power, provide structural drying services, move or clean personal property, remove debris and more. Although some of these services may be necessary for health and safety reasons, and to protect the property from further damage, policyholders should be aware that some individuals are scam artists eager to capitalize on the misfortunes of innocent people.

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