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Beware Of Insurance, Construction Scams After Storm

Reports of price gouging spiked as Hurricane Irma headed toward Florida.

Natural disasters sometimes bring out the best in people, like when neighbors keep one another safe or nice guys let desperate families have the last generator for sale in the hardware store.

But crises can also bring out the worst in people, and authorities in Florida warned of numerous scams that could pop up in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Unscrupulous home repairmen or trial attorneys seeking to profit might convince homeowners to sign an assignment of benefits form that results in homeowners losing control of their insurance policy, the Miami Herald reports.

"[This] can result in vendors inflating the cost of claims and file lawsuits against insurance companies that dispute the amount," the Herald wrote. "A sharp rise in AOB cases has been blamed for recent hikes in homeowner insurance rates."

Property owners should also beware of robocalls that say payments are due immediately, or else insurance policies will be canceled.

“That is pure fraud," Roy E. Wright, director of the National Flood Insurance Program at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told the Washington Post. "You should only be taking information from trusted sources."

Related Topics: Miami