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May 1, 2017

TDI fraud team deploys to storm damaged areas


After the storm: More tips on recovery and getting the claims process started.

How do I file a homeowners insurance claim? We walk you through the process, including deadlines and what to do if you disagree with your insurance company’s estimate.

Preventing contractor fraud after a storm: A look at how our fraud team works to protect consumers in areas affected by storms.

As East Texas homeowners assess the damage and begin filing insurance claims after weekend storms, investigators with the Texas Department of Insurance are heading to those areas to deter any criminal element drawn to the scene.

“Unfortunately, after a big storm we see an influx of criminal activity from scam artists looking to profit from people who are trying to start the recovery process,” said TDI Fraud Chief Christopher Davis. “As soon as it is safe, our investigators will begin canvassing those areas to talk to residents about what to look out for and to serve as additional eyes and ears for local law enforcement.”

Besides hitting the streets, TDI investigators will also meet with local authorities in the affected areas to share anti-fraud materials and make sure everyone is aware of common signs of criminal activity.

TDI offers the following tips for homeowners when looking to hire a contractor for home repairs:

  • Start with a call to your insurance company to get an idea of what repairs should cost.
  • Use local companies and check references and contact numbers.
  • Get written estimates. These should be on company 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 cost of the repair in advance. Legitimate contractors may require a partial payment up front to get started. Your final payment should only come after the job is complete.
  • Be aware that Texas law prohibits public adjusters from participating in the repair process to prevent conflicts of interest. For example, roofers can’t advertise that they will handle your insurance claim.
  • If you feel pressured or threatened in any way, call the police.

Report Suspected 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: 5/1/2017