Madison, Wis. — Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek and Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski remind Wisconsinites who experienced storm damage in recent weeks to be aware of scams and storm chasers.
“As Wisconsinites clean up their property from recent wind and hail damage, storm chasers may try to take advantage of the situation,” said Secretary Romanski. “Do your homework before signing any contracts and consider working with your insurance company to identify reliable, licensed contractors.”
The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) offers tips to avoid scams based on past consumer complaints. Wisconsinites can also contact DATCP’s Wisconsin’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or for more information or to file a complaint.
“Contact your insurance agent or company right away if you experienced property damage,” said Commissioner Nathan Houdek. “Your agent can initiate the claim process and may help you find reputable contractors to do any needed repairs.”
Consumers should consider the following tips as they respond to storm damage:
- Make a list of damaged items, including cracks in walls, missing shingles, etc.
- Take photographs of the damages before you begin to clean up
- Don’t throw out any damaged property without the claim adjuster’s agreement
When hiring contractors, consumers should also consider:
- Get more than one written estimate.
- Make sure the contractor visits the job site rather than giving a phone estimate.
- Be leery of an extremely low estimate.
- Contact DATCP to find out if complaints have been filed against the contractor.
They can also learn more about settling property insurance claims here.
If Wisconsinites encounter any issues with their insurance agent or company, they are encouraged to contact our office to file a complaint. Contact OCI at 1-800-236-8517 or visit our website for more information.