Don't be scammed after a flood: 5 KEY things to do if property flood-damaged

If your property was damaged during recent floods, you're probably looking for a contractor to make repairs.

Be extra cautious.

After disasters is the time some questionable and unlicensed contractors start appearing and wanting your business.

I found a lot of businesses popping up on Craigslist recently.

They all seem eager to help with flood damage like drywall and roof repairs.

So, I called a few of them and asked for their license number.

I then checked them with the Arizona Registrar of Contractors' website to make sure the licenses were current and in good standing.

Those I checked were fine.

But when I called a different ad about drywall work, the person admitted he wasn't licensed as is required.

He says it would just add costs to my bill. No license, no thanks!

Other flood-repair businesses like water extractors or carpet cleaners may not need licenses.

Make sure you get their business name and check their reputations online before hiring.

And if you have insurance, Nicole Farr with Arizona Insurance Council says the first step is contacting your provider.

You can work through your insurance company to find a contractor.

If it's flood damage to your house, it likely won't be covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy.

You need a special flood policy through FEMA .

If your car was damaged, make sure you have comprehensive coverage in your policy.

That's what covers flood-related incidents. It's also the coverage some people do without if it's an older car.

Even if you didn't have damage from this round of flooding, it is a wake-up call to take action.

Make sure you take pictures of your belongings, gather receipts and keep them in a safe place for insurance purposes.

You don't want to be scrambling if the next time, this happens to you.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an e-mail, a tweet , or like the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

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