Consumer Agency: Here’s How Sandy Victims Can Rebuild

Consumer Agency: Here’s How Sandy Victims Can Rebuild Photo (cc) by NASA Earth Observatory

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has put together a checklist to help Superstorm Sandy victims get their finances back in order, as well as what financial risks to watch out for…

  • Be careful if you choose to hire a public adjuster to help with your insurance claim. Be sure the adjuster is licensed to do business in your state. Also watch out for these red flags:
  • Big upfront fees. Don’t pay a lot before you know if the adjuster is going to help you. Many states put a limit on fees.
  • References to contractors who can help. Dishonest adjusters will sometimes work with contractors that give them kickbacks.
  • False or inflated claims. This is fraud against the insurance company.
  • Asks for a suspicious amount of personal information. Some con artists may pose as adjusters to steal your personal information.
  • Get bids from several local, established contractors. And avoid contractors who:
  • Are working door to door
  • Come from out of state
  • Don’t provide an address and phone number, or refuse to show identification
  • Ask if the contractor has the required licenses, and get license numbers.
  • Check with your state licensing agency’s website or hotline to make sure the licenses are valid.
  • Ask the licensing agencies if the contractor has a history of complaints.

Check out the link to find out what you need to do right now.

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