Avoiding a natural disaster may be almost impossible, but you
can take steps to avoid the fraudulent business practices that can
occur following a disaster.
It's not uncommon for fraud to happen following a catastrophe.
If someone comes to your door offering their services - such as
cleaning up or repairing your damaged property - follow these
suggestions from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) before
entering into a business agreement:
- Get multiple estimates for services and don't rush into any
- Get all agreements in writing, including detailed information
about cost, work to be done, schedule, guarantees and other
- Don't hire someone without checking out their references
- Confirm the service person's identity by recording his or her
name and drivers' license and license plate number.
- Never pay the full amount due in advance or sign a certificate
of completion until the work is finished.
- Never sign a contract with blanks. Dishonest contractors could
enter information later that could cost you.
If you're approached about participating in an insurance fraud
scam, remember that fraud is a felony and could result in a prison
sentence. Insurance coverage may also be voided if it's discovered
the policyholder has falsified the claim.
If you think you've been the victim of insurance fraud or have
been asked to make up or falsify an insurance claim, contact your
independent agent or QBE or call NICB at 800.TEL.NICB.