News Flash

Town of Indian Shores

Posted on: November 16, 2020

Tips for Post-Storm Insurance Claims and Contractors

Residents who experienced property damage from Tropical Storm Eta should take special care in documenting losses for insurance and hiring only qualified, licensed contractors to complete repairs.

Cleaning up flood damage

  • Remove wet contents immediately to prevent mold. Wet carpeting, furniture, bedding, and other items holding moisture can develop mold within 24 to 48 hours - more information.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.

Filing insurance claims

  • Document everything and take inventory of damaged goods; take photos and videos (save to a cloud if you can). 
  • File a flood insurance claim as soon as possible; track all your conversations; work closely with your adjuster. Learn more here.
  • Do not sign an Assignment of Benefits contract as a condition of having your home repaired. Florida Property Insurance Fraud, Don't Sign Your Rights Away.

Hiring a contractor

  • Watch out for “fly-by-night” contractors who take deposits and do not do any work. Never deal with any contractor soliciting work at your house.
  • Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify that the license is current and active by calling the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board at (727) 582-3100.
  • Ask for and check references of previous customers.
  • Get at least three estimates. Be certain the estimates are itemized and for the same work.
  • Avoid a contractor who asks for advance payment in full. Pay upon completion or as the work progresses. Always avoid paying in cash.
  • Avoid contractors who ask you, as the homeowner, to obtain the building permit.
  • Beware of any contractor who tells you that extensive or structural repairs do not require a permit.
  • Take your time when signing a contract and consider asking a knowledgeable friend, relative or attorney to review it before you sign. Make sure the warranty information is included in the contract.
  • Require the contractor to supply a final affidavit indicating that all subcontractors and suppliers used on the job are paid in full. Ensure that the work is inspected by the building department before final payment.

Document damage for the County  

Pinellas County is also gathering damage reports for potential state and federal emergency assistance. To document damage on your property, use the Online Damage Assessment Tool: https://arcg.is/1T4i9j.

 For more information on flood recovery, visit: www.pinellascounty.org/flooding.

For more information on avoiding post-disaster scams, visit: http://www.pinellascounty.org/consumer/pdf/post-disaster-consumer-tips.pdf

Alert Pinellas

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For preparedness information or to sign up for Alert Pinellas, visit www.pinellascounty.org/emergency.

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