TDCI gives advice for filing insurance claims, hiring contractors, avoiding scams

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SHAWNEE, OK – MAY 20: Volunteers chain saw a fallen tree knocked down by a tornado May 20, 2013 near Shawnee, Oklahoma. A series of tornados moved across central Oklahoma May 19, killing two people and injuring at least 21. (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Following the recent severe weather and increase in scams, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is giving tips to residents about filing claims, choosing contractors and avoiding scammers.

In a release from the TDCI, customers are advised to file claims as soon as possible and get in touch with their insurance providers and agents quickly.

Another insurance tip is to take pictures and video of any damage, make any necessary repairs you can and ask your insurance company if you have coverage for additional living expenses.

The release also reminds residents that a contractor’s license is required before price negotiations can take place when the total cost of a project is $25,000 or more.

Regardless of the cost of a project, always check with your local government’s building codes office to see what licenses your contractor needs to make any improvements on your home.

Another tip for contractors is to check their qualifications on http://verify.tn.gov/.

When it comes to hiring contractors, be skeptical of door-to-door contractors, get several bids before committing, do not pay more than a third of the cost up front and get the terms of the agreement in writing.

Following disasters, scammers are on the rise, and TDCI wants to remind residents that government agencies will never ask for upfront fees to claim anything or charge application fees.

Residents should always check credentials when speaking to anyone claiming to work for any agency, insurance company, business or bank.

Another tip is to always research the name of an organization extensively, especially if it sounds similar to a government agency or a charity.

TDCI also warns everyone that limited time offers should be ignored over the phone, and rental listings that sound too good to be true probably are.

For more tips and help on filing claims, hiring contractors and avoiding scams, visit TDCI’s website by clicking here.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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