Clarke & Sampson Blog

Being Wary of Contractor Insurance Fraud

Keegan Wetzel | Thursday, October 2, 2014
The average homeowner knows relatively little about home renovations such as electrical panels or replacing floor joists. This lack of knowledge can make you an easy target and potential victim of contractor fraud. Often times hired contractors complete their work in a professional and responsible manner – unfortunately there are also cases of dishonest contractors who lie about the severity of a problem in order to make money from overpriced repairs. Commonly, the need for such repair is heavily exaggerated, or even completely fabricated. It is important that you act wisely when dealing with contractors so you don’t end up paying for repairs that you don’t need. contractor_fraud    

An especially dangerous type of contractor fraud involves using a homeowner’s insurance to pay for unnecessary repairs. This process begins by finding particular damages, and is followed by offering to fix the damages for little or no cost. The contractor will then cause additional damage before telling the homeowners to file a claim with their insurance carrier. Often, the contractor will assert that the damage was caused by an accidental or weather-related incident.

Contractors often convince homeowners that this is an acceptable use of their insurance policy, when in fact it is a form of insurance fraud. Insurance companies are on the lookout for such behavior and will prosecute when fraudulent claims are discovered. Unfortunately, the homeowner is often the party that is found responsible, not the contractor who caused the damage. Contractors involved in such scams are careful not to do anything illegal on paper, which helps them deny involvement and divert blame toward the homeowner.

Remember, if you didn’t contact the contractor, you probably do not need them. Be wary of any contractor that shows up at your door out of the blue and claims that your home is damaged. To ensure the problem they discovered is a legitimate concern, it’s always smart get a second or third opinion before committing to anything.

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