After Hurricane Sandy caused significant damages to homes in the Northeast, many homeowners were faced with potentially having to pay high hurricane deductibles. However, state officials have said that most homeowners won’t have to pay these costs, according to Insurance.com.
“Homeowners should not have to pay hurricane deductibles for damage caused by the storm and insurers should understand the Department of Financial Services will be monitoring how claims are handled,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
If they were forced to cover these costs, a homeowner with a home insured for $300,000 and a 5 percent deductible would have had to $15,000 before any insurance coverage would kick in, the site noted. This could have depleted many peoples savings, forcing them to turn to something like a cash advance loan to help cover other expenses.
Homeowners in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York and Maryland will all be protected from hurricane deductibles but flood damage could still be an issue, the source noted.
In addition to flood damage, there are many post-storm scams that homeowners may be duped into that could cost the money, according to Insure.com.
Unsolicited Repair Offers
If you didn’t request a repair, the chances are it is a scam. For this reason, you should be wary of those going door-to-door offering repair services.
“We use the slogan, ‘If you didn’t request it, reject it,'” Frank Scafidi, spokesperson for the National Insurance Crime Bureau told the news source. “If someone comes knocking on your door, the could be legitimate, but they could be very illegitimate too.”
Other red flags to look for include contractors who claim to work for the government, people who try to rush you into a decision and contractors who have rundown equipment or an unprofessional appearance.
Never Pay For Work Upfront
If a contractor requires you to pay for work upfront, there is a good chance that it is a scam. Most contractors will require a down payment but they don’t usually need you to pay in full before the work is completed and inspected. AARP says upfront fees shouldn’t be more than 25 percent of the repair estimate. This money shouldn’t change hands until materials reach your home and the repair has been started.