ALBANY, NY (10/31/2012)(readMedia)-- Devastated communities trying to get back on their feet after monster megastorm Sandy likely will have another reason for worry -- crooked contractors exploiting the disaster to make a quick buck at homeowners' expense, warns the New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud (NYAAIF).
"New Yorkers are hurting after the storm; we've been pummeled with a deadly mix of rain, high winds and flooding," says NYAAIF chairman Jack Houston. "As we pick up the pieces after the disaster, we must stay alert for contractors who try to profit from our vulnerability."
Most home contractors are honest, but history shows us that crooked contractors almost always show up at disaster areas to offer low-priced, fraudulent repairs. These are often unlicensed storm-chasers, going door-to-door in search of victims.
Homeowners should keep in mind that insurance policies may not cover fraudulent repairs. This could leave homeowners to pay expensive repair bills on their own.
"These scammers are going to go after New Yorkers when they're hurting most, so knowing the signs is the first and best line of defense," said Jack Houston. "You've got to know it to stop it."
The New York Alliance Against Insurance Fraud is a non-profit organization that seeks to increase public awareness about insurance fraud and its consequences. Membership includes more than 100 insurance companies writing policies in New York State.