Home Repairs Following A Disaster

Posted by Lori Gelvin Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:39:00 AM

If you’ve experienced property damage from any type of disaster (wind, hail, flood, snow

and ice, tornado, fire, etc.) consumers are urged to hire licensed Ohio contractors to

repair damages.

Be wary of contractors that come into disaster areas from out of state when damage is

widespread. They may not meet state and local licensing or bonding requirements.

Proper licensing normally releases you from liability if workers are injured on your



Expenses incurred while taking measures to protect against further damage (such as

placing plastic over a damaged roof, covering windows to prevent further water damage,

etc.) from an insured loss are typically reimbursable under homeowners insurance. Save

these receipts for claims filing.


To protect against potential contractor fraud, OII offers the following tips:

Consider obtaining more than one estimate. Price is not the only factor to

consider. While most contractors are reputable service providers, don’t be

mislead by promises of a “free roof” or “free repairs” based on insurance


Insist on a written proposal. Iron out repair details upfront including cost, work

to be completed, repair and payment schedules, contractor guarantees and

product warranties.

Never sign an incomplete or blank contract or provide personal information such

as your Social Security or credit card information. Don’t be pressured into signing

a contract, especially one that eliminates your ability to represent your own claim

to your insurance provider.

Seek out referrals for repairs: You have the final decision on who completes the

repairs, so choose wisely. Check with family and trusted friends, or contact your

area Ohio Better Business Bureau who can provide online ratings and references.

Your insurer may also have suggestions specific to your repair needs for your


Ask for credentials and proof of insurance. Does the contractor have a

permanent business address, tax ID number and proper licensing? Protect

yourself by verifying licensing and bonding credentials, and professional liability

insurance coverage.

Ask for contractor references and check them for a proven track record.

Avoid paying for repairs in cash. Cash payments, especially to those you don’t

know, can lead to incomplete repairs.

Be present for all home inspections conducted by repair estimators. While most

conduct legitimate inspections, there have been documented cases where

damage was inflicted either to inflate or create property damage.

Be wary of door-to-door and other types of solicitations for repairs. A

homeowner should take the lead role in contacting and selecting the contractor.

Watch for padded repair estimates. There is no such thing as a “free insurance

deductible.” If asked about the amount of your insurance deductible or for a copy

of your insurance adjuster’s repair estimate, this should serve as a red flag.

• Double-check the quality of the roofing shingles and other materials used in

repairs. For example, shingles come in many grades and warranty standards. The

Insurance Institute for Home and Business Safety provides information on repair

materials, building standards and other resources to help with the

rebuilding/repair process.

Never allow a contractor to serve as your negotiator with your insurance

company. Should a consumer allow the roofer or contractor to negotiate on their

behalf and damages are either over-inflated or nonexistent, your insurer is not

obligated to cover them.

Other than your insurer or attorney, a public adjuster is the only claims

professional that can legally represent your rights as an insured during the

claims process. The Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) licenses public adjusters.

Ask for credentials if you suspect adjuster misrepresentation. See ODI’s public

adjuster tip sheet and list of Ohio licensed public adjusters.

Don’t be tempted to conspire in filing a fraudulent insurance claim. Insurance

fraud is a felony. Disaster repairs often heighten the opportunity for insurance

fraud and abuse. Be aware that insurance coverage may be voided if a

policyholder intentionally misrepresents their losses.

Report potential fraudulent claim activity to the ODI Fraud and Enforcement

division at 800.686.1527 or filing online.

Provided courtesy of the Ohio Insurance Institute

Wayne Insurance Group

For more than a century, the Wayne Insurance Group companies have delivered financial security and peace of mind for families, farms and businesses. As mutual insurance companies, we exist to serve the insurance needs of our policyholders. We have partnered with a network of independent agents to offer a full line of insurance programs backed by prompt, fair claims service and support.

Contact Us

Wayne Insurance Group
3873 Cleveland Road
Wooster, Ohio 44691

Tel: 330-345-8100 | Tol: 800-222-3873
Email: info@wayneinsgroup.com

Wayne Mutual Insurance Company

Founded in 1910, Wayne Mutual Insurance Company provides a wide range of property and casualty insurance programs for automobiles, homes, farms, investment properties, and businesses.

Washington Mutual Insurance Association

Since 1878, Washington Mutual Insurance Association has provided protection for homes, farms and personal property. Our products can be tailored to meet the specific needs of our policyholders.