Warning against crooked contractors


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – With hurricane season right around the corner, there is the threat of storm damage to your home. A local insurance adjusting company wants to help people know their rights when seeking someone to make repairs..

Last month, a tornado left a three-mile path of destruction across San Marco and the Southside. 

A woman who had damages to her home after a tornado swept through last month is sharing her experience. She says not only did the insurance company try to take advantage of her, but the roofing company she hired did as well. She says they even lied to her about how long that had been in business.

After a storm hits, trucks are instantly rolling through trying to help people take care of their damaged property. A local insurance adjusting company says that's an example of when you need to be careful.

"They wanted me to sign this contract. I was a little unsure about doing that so I didn't check off the boxes and just signed for them to contact the insurance company to see about the wind storm claim," said Darline Jones.

Jones was told by her insurance company she had storm damage to her roof and needed a new one. So she found a roofing company online who said it would handle everything with her insurance company. But the insurance company said they would only pay for half a roof-not realizing she was entitled to a full roof. Fortunately, she learned this from Mark D'Amico and Gold Star Adjusters.

"Through the process, we were able to help Miss Jones get her entire roof replaced by the insurance company because that's what she was owed under her policy for the damages that were there," said D'Amico.

D'Amico is a licensed insurance adjuster and says there are rules people should follow when making a claim with your insurance company:

  • Don't try to pull one over on your insurance company
  • Be thorough, but honest
  • Take pictures and videos of the damage and be sure to keep copies
  • If the insurance company refuses to pay, demand an explanation in writing;
  • Seek professional assistance when needed

"As a public adjuster, we are going to have your best interest to look at the bigger picture to see how this is going to affect you long-term because no one wants claims against their record that they don't need," adds D'Amico.

Jones says to do your research and don't be afraid to reach out for help.

"Get in touch with the Better Business Bureau and contact Gold Star and someone who specializes in that who can guide them and help them in the right way they need to go and definitely not sign any papers or contracts unless they know what they're signing."

Another tip when it comes to working with a contractor, check to make sure they are properly licensed. An easy way to do so if you live in Florida is to head to myfloridalicense.com.