Skip to Top Main Navigation Skip to Left Navigation Skip to Content Area Skip to Footer
Texas Department of Insurance
Topics:   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z All

Preventing fraud after a storm: a toolkit for city and county officials


When a disaster strikes, there are steps you can take to help your community avoid fraud and start the recovery process.

Consider issuing a disaster declaration

If a disaster is declared by state or county officials, contractors from outside the area cannot require payment in advance and authorities can control access to affected areas.
Business and Commerce Code section 58.003
Government Code section. 418.108

Review local requirements

Depending on whether or not permits are already required locally, you may want to review existing rules or consider adding new ones.

  • Are permits required for solicitors, building and general contractors, and towing companies? Some areas require permits after a disaster or stop issuing new permits to businesses from outside the area for a while.
  • What are the minimum standards for new permits? Some areas require contractors to have been in business for at least two years. It’s a good practice to require an address and telephone number you can verify.
  • Is there a requirement to register contractor crew members?
  • Are contractors required to have proof of insurance including general liability, workers’ compensation, construction bonds, and liability insurance for all vehicles?
  • Do roof repairs require building permits?
  • Are solicitors and contractors required to have government-issued photo IDs? Some areas conduct warrant and sex offender registration checks on all permit applicants.

Educate residents

  • Use social media to warn residents of potential fraud. Our toolkit includes sample posts you can use to get started.
  • Post fraud warnings in public places. We have posters you can print for use at home improvement stores, grocery stores, and your offices. There’s a space to add your contact information.
  • Warn residents about identity theft. Thieves can use the confusion after a storm to steal personal information like Social Security or bank account numbers. For example, scam artists may pretend to be from a government agency, nonprofit, or insurance company and ask for sensitive information.

Helpful numbers

For more information or to request a speaker on this topic, contact:
Last updated: 7/9/2024