If you suffered damage to your Gulf Coast property after Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, Tropical Storm Beta, or another devastating tropical storm, you face a long—and potentially expensive—road to getting back to normal. Depending on the nature and extent of the damages your home suffered, you could require major repairs before your home is even livable again.
The weeks and months after a major Gulf Coast storm bring out a variety of opportunists and dishonest contractors who prey on victims who suffered damage to their property. When hiring a hurricane damage contractor, you must proceed with caution and do your homework. You could also encounter problems if your insurance company pushes you to use their contractors or refuses to process your claim in good faith.
Talking to a hurricane damage claim lawyer is one of the best ways to avoid the many pitfalls that await you after you sustain tropical storm or hurricane damage. Before you hire a contractor after a Gulf Coast storm, contact the hurricane insurance attorneys from the MIC Firm.
Beware of Common Hurricane Contractor Scams
Countless unscrupulous companies flock to locations where major storm damage has occurred, preying on unsuspecting victims.
One of the most common scams is that the contractor will knock on your door and tell you they’re handling the repairs on your neighbor’s house “down the street.” If you agree to hire them for your home, they might offer you a discount since they’ll be in the neighborhood anyway. They will provide you with what appears to be a very reasonable estimate and request 50% payment upfront for materials.
You will never see this contractor—or your deposit—again.
There are countless variations of this and related scams that you could fall victim to if you aren’t careful. You can read about other common storm damage contractor scams on the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) website. Contacting an experienced attorney is another way to help ensure you don’t become the victim of any storm damage repair scams.
Do Your Homework Before Hiring a Contractor for Hurricane Repair
You’ll be safest if you reach out to contractors yourself for estimates, rather than talking to anyone who calls you or comes to your door. This provides you with the opportunity to verify their state contractor license, insurance, and any required surety bonds. This also allows you to check their customer reviews and look for any complaints that may have been filed against them with your state registrar of contractors, the Better Business Bureau, etc.
You can ask friends, neighbors, or other trusted individuals for recommendations. However, never let a recommendation substitute for doing our own due diligence on the contractor’s qualifications.
Get Hurricane Damage Repair Estimates in Writing
Insist that all estimates and contracts be fully executed in writing. Read estimates and contracts carefully before you sign anything. Few legitimate contractors will request any deposit above 10% of the contract value, and even that should raise a red flag to do a little more digging into the contractor’s background.
Contacting an attorney to review all cost estimates and contracts provides an incomparable layer of security and peace-of-mind. An experienced hurricane damage claim lawyer knows what to look for and how to spot potentially dangerous contracting arrangements.
Contact a Gulf Coast Property Claim Attorney Today
In Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and throughout the Gulf Coast region, the MIC Firm protects clients from potentially risky situations involving hurricane damage contractors. We have been assisting countless clients in the wake of Hurricane Laura, Hurricane Sally, and other recent extreme weather events.
Before hiring any contractor after hurricane damage or for help getting your hurricane damage insurance claim paid, contact us to learn more about how we can protect your legal rights and help you avoid getting scammed. Call us or contact us today for a confidential consultation with an experienced gulf coast property damage lawyer from the MIC Firm.