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By MarcWites

Hurricane Irma Quick Tip: Beware of Contractors Knocking at Your Door

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, you may get a knock at your door and find someone claiming to be a contractor offering to fix your home.  Our advice; end the conversion, and shut the door.  Most importantly, do not sign anything and do not agree to anything.  Here’s four reasons why.

First, in the aftermath of a storm, there are unfortunately people who will prey on people in need.  While we are all anxious to have our homes repaired, it is very important that all work is done by a licensed, insured and reputable contractor.  People that go door-to-door offering to fix your house often do not fit this description.  Some of them may be unlicensed and/or uninsured.  Others may be from out-of-state, and if something goes wrong down the road, they will be nowhere to be found.
Second, you have an obligation under your insurance policy to allow your insurance company to inspect certain damage in your home before you commence repairs. For example, you need not wait to the insurance company to inspect in order to fix a hole in your roof or broken window that is allowing rain to enter your home. In other words, you must make emergency repairs to prevent further damage as soon as possible.  However, other repairs, such as to drywall, plumbing and cabinets, require that you allow your insurance company to inspect first.

Third, many people have provisions in their insurance policies that allow the insurance company to elect to repair your home.  In many situations these provisions are unenforceable, but in other cases, the insurance company may be able to elect to perform the repairs in your home.  If you deprive the insurance company of the right to first inspect your home and determine whether it will elect to repair your house the insurance company may argue that you have lost your insurance coverage and try to deny your claim.

To learn more about Wites & Rogers’s Insurance Claims Team please visit our Insurance Attorney page.

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Marc A. Wites

Marc A. Wites is the founding shareholder of Wites & Rogers. He directs the firm’s litigation practice groups for personal injury and wrongful death cases, class actions, property insurance claims, sexual assault, and investment fraud.

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