Florida Senator Mike Fasano: Sinkhole Scams

Oct 5, 2011

The following article was published in the Citrus County Chronicle on October 5, 2011:

Sinkhole Scams

With so much recent attention being given to sinkhole premiums, it is time to shine a spotlight on a disturbing practice in our community. When someone files an insurance claim for a sinkhole, an engineer is required to inspect the damage and write a report listing conclusions and recommended fixes to make the home safe again.
State law requires these reports to be filed with the clerk of the circuit court.
It has come to my attention that some unscrupulous home repair people are taking these reports and going, unannounced, to the homes of the policyholders. Once there they represent themselves as having been sent by the homeowner’s insurance company to perform the repairs suggested in the report.
Unsuspecting homeowners, especially senior citizens unfamiliar with the process regarding how sinkhole repairs are carried out, end up signing a contract to perform the repairs.
It is important that homeowners be aware that insurance companies do not send out home-repair companies to your house. If anyone shows up at your door claiming that they were sent by your insurance company, immediately call your insurance agent or insurance company to find out if in fact that person at your door was sent by them.
Chances are they were not. If they have not gone away on their own, and they refuse to leave when you tell them to, don’t hesitate to call the police. These people prey on the trusting and vulnerable among us. Please don’t let yourself be taken in by them.
I encourage everyone who has made a sinkhole claim to be extra vigilant. Keep in touch with your insurance company and work with them to identify a repair company that you are made aware of.
Being prepared with this information will come in handy if any of these thieves try to take advantage of you. They will be the ones who are surprised when you send them away.
Mike Fasano
State Senator, District 11, New Port Richey

Find this article here:  http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/sinkhole-scams