BBB warns of scams during flood recovery process

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As many Arkansans shift to flood recovery after the state experienced a historic flood event, the Better Business Bureau wanted to make sure victims do not become victimized a second time. 

“It’s a very emotional time. People’s homes have been damaged. It’s one of your most precious possession and you want to get it fixed,” BBB Arkansas President and CEO Janet Robb said. “We want you to get it fixed too, but we also don’t want you to be victimized a second time in the process.” 

To help property owners navigate the recovery and restoration process, BBB offers these tips: 

Check your insurance policy – Flood damage is not covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. In some high-risk flood areas, home and business owners may be required by law to carry flood insurance. To learn more about your state’s requirements check with your Insurance Commissioner. 

Repairing the damage – Don’t make any permanent changes to your property until you get approval from your insurance provider. They may not fully reimburse you for repairs made without their permission. Take photos of the storm damage to show your insurance company. 

Get multiple opinions – Shop around and get at least three different estimates before deciding on a contractor. Make sure the estimates are broken down the same way. Watch out for high-pressure sales tactics and less than trustworthy businesses — research company profiles at BBB.org to find reputable contractors. You can find more helpful tips on choosing a reliable contractor here

Ask for proof of liability, workers compensation, and licensing – Verify the contractor has the correct license to do work in your state. This protects you in case something happens while working on your property. 

Get everything in writing – Demand a written contract from anyone you hire. Clearly written, detailed proposals that are broken down into separate line items are a good sign that the contractor is being thorough and has prepared an accurate estimate. The following is a partial list of things your estimate or proposal should include: 

  • The type of material being used, manufacturer, and color 

  • Scope of work to be done, including material and labor costs 

  • Who is responsible for repairing/replacing exterior landscape or interior finishes that are damaged during the course of the work? Make sure that your contract contains language addressing who is responsible for any damage that occurs due to the job. 

  • Approximate starting and completion dates 

  • Payment procedures 

  • Length of warranty and what is covered, e.g., workmanship, water leakage, etc. 

  • Who will haul away the old materials and project waste? Is there an extra charge for this service? 

For more advice and tips flood restoration and how to avoid becoming a scam victim, click here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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