Storm victims: Beware of crooked contractors - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Storm victims: Beware of crooked contractors

Officials agree it's extremely important for victims to document damage and file insurance claims as soon as possible. Source: WLBT Officials agree it's extremely important for victims to document damage and file insurance claims as soon as possible. Source: WLBT
The board of contractors urges homeowners to deal only with state licensed or registered contractors. Source: WLBT The board of contractors urges homeowners to deal only with state licensed or registered contractors. Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

In North and South Mississippi, homeowners and businesses are taking stock of the damage from the recent violent weather.

Officials agree it's extremely important for victims to document damage and file insurance claims as soon as possible.

The images of shattered homes and shattered lives across Mississippi is crippling. So are the death and monetary tolls.

The Mississippi Insurance Department is ready to help the recovery process by making the claim filing process easier. If you have suffered storm damage keep all receipts for expenses for any damages to your home. 

Take pictures before you repair both inside and outside and if possible you are urged to make temporary repairs to your home to prevent more loss.

In these difficult situations, many are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous contractors.

The board of contractors says don't get scammed. They have teams out in the field to help right now.

"Yes, we have a disaster response team we dispatch out in severe weather," says Mississippi Board of Contractors Director, Stephanie Sills Lee. "We work alongside MEMA and FEMA cautioning property owners about common scams from contractors and those who try to take advantage of property owners after a disaster situation."

The board of contractors urges homeowners to deal only with state licensed or registered contractors. 
 
"Too many times some of these fly by night people will come into an area that's damaged, collect money and walk away," says Lee. "Just remember, don't pay cash up front and make sure you check those references and encourage them to hire a licensed contractor in Mississippi."

If you have a problem with a licensed or unlicensed contractor, you can file complaints against them at your local and state contractors board and the Consumer Division of the State Attorney General's Office.

Copyright 2015 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly