Insurance commissioner: Call the your carrier first and avoid scammers

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State Insurance Commissioner Trinidad Navarro is advising property owners to call their insurance company immediately while avoiding “storm chaser” repair companies.

Navarro recently toured the Amberwood community in the Glasgow area. The community suffered wind damage from Tropical Storm Isaias.

“I understand the eagerness of every resident to clean up and make repairs, but I can’t emphasize enough the importance of contacting your insurance company first. Take photos of everything and do not make permanent repairs before working with your insurance adjuster. Make only necessary, temporary repairs to prevent additional damage. Save all documentation, pictures, and receipts.”

“Anytime we experience a big storm like Isaias, we see storm-chasing scammers pop up in neighborhoods, falsely stating they are with an insurance company, or encouraging homeowners to sign on to repair contracts without going through the proper channels – often price gouging residents, or completing shoddy repairs if they make any at all, leaving the consumer on the hook for costs that could have been covered by an insurer.”

Residents who encounter a storm-related insurance scam can contact the Fraud Prevention Bureau at (800) 632-5154 or (302) 674-7350, or email fraud@delaware.gov. Consumers are urged to carefully review contracts for home repairs, ask for references and research companies through the Better Business Bureau, Navarro stated in a release.

Consumers may contact the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, DEMA, to see what assistance may be available as a result of the Governor’s State of Emergency. Property insurance policyholders should be aware of the dwelling deductible stated on their insurance declaration page, and take note that there may be a deductible for named storms, wind, hail, or tornadoes that may apply to the claim, most often stated as a percentage of dwelling coverage, the release noted.

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