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March 27, 2017

TDI sends fraud investigators to areas hit by storms

The Texas Department of Insurance has sent investigators to north Texas areas hard hit by hail storms to deter fraud, which can range from shoddy repairs to price gouging.

TDI offers these tips to help consumers avoid scams when hiring a contractor for home repairs:

  • Start with a call to your insurance company to get advice on what repairs should cost.
  • Use local companies and check their references and contact numbers.
  • Get written estimates. These should be on the company’s letterhead with clear contact information.
  • Get more than one bid. This will help you gauge which offers are legitimate and which may be too high or too good to be true.
  • Don’t pay the full amount in advance. Legitimate contractors may require a partial payment up front to get started, but your final payment should not be made until the job is finished.
  • If you feel pressured or threatened, call the police.

“We’re sending a team of fraud investigators to the storm damaged areas to serve as a deterrent to criminal activity,” said TDI Fraud Chief Christopher Davis. “We’ll be meeting with local authorities in the affected areas to share anti-fraud materials and make sure everyone is on the lookout for signs of criminal activity associated with storm chasers.”

Public adjusters

Another concern is fraudulent activity by public insurance adjusters or people acting as public insurance adjusters. Texas law prohibits public adjusters from participating in the repair process to prevent conflicts of interest. For example, roofers may not act as public insurance adjusters or advertise that they will handle the insurance claim for you.

Report insurance fraud

If you have information about insurance fraud, you can file a complaint online or by calling 1-800-252-3439.

You can also file complaints against businesses with the Texas Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-252-8011.

Claims help

For answers to insurance questions or to get help with a claim, call the TDI Consumer Help Line at 1-800-252-3439. Help is available in English and Spanish. More tips are available on the TDI website.

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 4/3/2017