The Proclamation encourages Maryland residents to get at least three written estimates from potential contractors following a disaster, check contractor credentials, and work closely with their insurance companies during the rebuilding process.
“Property owners are most vulnerable right after a disaster has occurred and when help is most needed. We urge consumers to use common sense when hiring a contractor. Be wary of unsolicited contractors that show up at your door, offering to manage your insurance claim and promising you insurance coverage for specific repairs or replacements,” warned Insurance Commissioner Kathleen A. Birrane. “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Honest contractors play an important role in assessing your damage and providing the estimates and information necessary to help you make your insurance claim. But only licensed public adjusters are authorized by law to negotiate that claim with your insurers. If you have questions about what your contractor is promising or if you encounter any problems with your insurer over a claim, call us – the MIA is here to help you.”
“Protecting consumers from fraudulent home improvement contractors is a primary mission of the Maryland Department of Labor and we take this responsibility very seriously. And this is especially true in the wake of a disaster,” said Maryland Secretary of Labor Tiffany Robinson. “Marylanders who invest their hard-earned savings in improvements to their primary asset need to feel confident in the contractor they choose to do the work. Through Governor Hogan’s leadership in recognizing Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, the Maryland Home Improvement Commission stands ready to assist and protect Marylanders as they make life-changing investments and improvements to their home.”
NICB created Contractor Fraud Awareness Week in 2021 to highlight the growing problem of contractors and vendors that take advantage of disaster victims in the aftermath of catastrophes. Throughout the week, NICB, along with its partners, will distribute materials via social media using the hashtag #CFAW2022. Additionally, NICB will engage with television outlets across the U.S. on a national media tour, participate in a Facebook Live event with AARP, and distribute new public service announcements informing the public about fraudulent contractors and how to identify them following hurricanes, tornadoes, hailstorms, and wildfires.
“On behalf of the National Insurance Crime Bureau, I would like to thank Governor Hogan, Insurance Commissioner Birrane, and Secretary of Labor Robinson for their support and understanding of insurance fraud. Increasing awareness of post-disaster fraud will help us reduce this problem,” added Glawe.
For more information about Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, visit www.nicb.org/ContractorFraudWeek.
REPORT FRAUD: Anyone with information concerning insurance fraud or vehicle theft can report it anonymously by calling toll-free 800.TEL.NICB (800.835.6422)or submitting a form on our website.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL INSURANCE CRIME BUREAU: Headquartered in Des Plaines, Ill., the NICB is the nation’s leading not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to combatting and preventing insurance crime through Intelligence, Analytics, and Operations; Education and Crime Prevention; and Strategy, Policy, and Advocacy. The NICB is supported by more than 1,200 property and casualty insurance companies and self-insured organizations. NICB member companies wrote over $530 billion in insurance premiums in 2020, or more than 82% of the nation’s property-casualty insurance. That includes more than 95% ($236 billion) of the nation’s personal auto insurance. To learn more, visit www.nicb.org.
SOURCE National Insurance Crime Bureau