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July 17, 2018

TDI warns storm victims to be on the lookout for scams

Texas Department of Insurance is extending its call center hours and sending staff to Hidalgo and Cameron counties to help families with insurance claims after recent flooding.

The agency also is warning storm victims to be aware that a wave of scam artists too often follows a storm. TDI offers these tips for homeowners when hiring a contractor for home repairs:

  • 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.
  • Be cautious of contractors who offer to waive deductibles. They could be submitting false information to your insurance company about the cost of the repairs.
  • 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.

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 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., including this weekend. TDI staff also are available at the federal disaster recovery centers opening this week.

Resources

Help after the storm: Tips for filing claims, resolving disputes, and avoiding scams.

DisasterAssistance.gov: Apply for FEMA help, check the status of your application, or find a hotel that accepts FEMA's Transitional Sheltering Assistance.

For more information, contact:

Last updated: 7/17/2018