If you suffer a loss following a catastrophic event, don't become a victim again.
Catastrophes can bring out the best in many people, but may bring out the worst in others. Following a natural disaster, outsiders can provide vital assistance in the form of insurance adjusters, emergency/medical personnel and assistance organizations. On the heels of these vital support personnel, however, swoop in unscrupulous building repair firms, contractors and others seeking to profit from the suffering of others.
Catastrophes breed crimes of opportunity. After a catastrophe, unscrupulous vendors or claims adjusters may approach you with schemes to put you in a better position than you were in before the catastrophe. These schemes usually involve kickbacks to the vendor or claims adjuster. Don't get involved with these schemes.
Your policy provides payments to cover damage to your property by covered perils. It does not provide payments for fictitious or inflated damages. If someone is promising you something for nothing or offering you something that sounds too good to be true, they may be attempting to involve you in insurance fraud. Insurance fraud is a crime.
Avoid Fraud After a Catastrophe
- Beware of high pressure sales people. Don't be rushed into signing a contract. Take the time to obtain written estimates from more than one vendor.
- Know who you are dealing with. Obtain references, check with the Better Business Bureau, review licenses and ensure that the vendor you select is properly insured.
- Don't make large down payments. Although down payments are customary, some unscrupulous vendors disappear after receiving the down payment or performing limited work.
To report suspected property insurance fraud involving a Citizens policy or claim:
- Call Citizens' Special Investigations Unit toll-free at 855.SIU.8596 (855.748.8596)
- Submit a report online through the Report Suspected Fraud topic on our Contact Us page
To report suspected property insurance fraud that does not involve Citizens:
- Call the Florida Department of Financial Services (FLDFS) Consumer Helpline at 800.378.0445
- Submit a report online at the FLDFS Division of Insurance Fraud.