Header Image
Get a Free Quote
Get a Quote Find an agent

EDISON BLOG

Category: Home Maintenance

Florida Home Maintenance for the Summer

Summertime can mean vacations, pool parties and time for relaxing. To prepare for these good times, take the time to do some routine home maintenance. Read our list of tasks Florida homeowners should follow to prepare for the summer.

Read More

The Hunt for Hidden Home Hazards

There are home hazards many homeowners can easily avoid, but do you know which common hazards may be hidden in your home? Instead of hunting for eggs this April, homeowners should hunt for some of the hidden home hazards listed in this post.

Read More

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Florida Home

Whether you’re ready to spend your summer days relaxing at home, or packing up your Florida home and heading back north, these spring cleaning tips are helpful for all Florida homeowners.

Read More

Contractor Fraud: What It Is and Tips To Help Avoid It

When you experience home damage, especially to critical areas of your home like the roof, you probably want a contractor to come out and fix it immediately. However, there is good reason to hold off until you find a trustworthy and reliable contractor. Why? Although most contractors aim to provide quality services, you still run the risk of encountering a few who may engage in contractor fraud.

 

Here we explain what contractor fraud is, warning signs of contractor fraud, as well as give you tips to help you avoid common scams.

 

What Is Contractor Fraud?

Contractor fraud occurs when individual contractors or contracting firms hired to repair, renovate, or build residential or commercial properties knowingly offer misleading services, such as charging more than a contract is worth or performing unsatisfactory work. This usually results in negative consequences for homeowners and could lead to additional repairs and expenses because of poor workmanship or fraudulent charges.

 

Tips For Avoiding Common Contractor Scams

Here are a few common contractor scams and how to avoid them.

 

1. Requesting Full Payment Upfront

This is one of the biggest giveaways when it comes to contractor fraud. Your contractor asks for full payment upfront to order the materials and equipment 

needed for the job. After this, they go missing with your money, continue to delay your project for months or perform unsatisfactory work.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Never pay more than the legal maximum in your state upfront. Usually, this will be no more than 10% of the contract total. The only purpose of an advance is to establish you as a serious customer and the contractor can work you into their schedule. As for material and equipment costs, remember, if your contractor is reputable, their suppliers will provide materials to them on credit.

 

2. Encountering Unforeseen Problems and Requiring Additional Payment

Another warning sign of contractor fraud could be your contractor encountering serious, unexpected issues like plumbing problems or termite damage – after they’ve started the job. Your contractor then requests significant payment to fix the problem, leaving you with no choice but to pay to keep the project going.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Before you sign a contract, make sure it includes a process for change orders, which are mini contracts containing a project description and a fixed price for any tasks you add to the contract. This extra work should only occur after both the homeowner and contractor both sign off on the change.  

 

3. Using Materials Leftover from Previous Jobs

You should be wary of contractors who claim they can offer you a great deal by performing the job with materials leftover from previous jobs.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Do not hire contractors on the spot. Be sure to check your contractor’s background to make sure they are reputable and perform quality work.

 

4. Offering Free Inspections

Many legitimate contractors won’t charge you for an estimate, but you should still be on guard. Especially with the elderly, look out for contractors who perform 

inspections in areas of your home you can’t easily access, such as attics or crawl spaces.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Be sure to pay extra attention to your contractor’s assessment. Also, it’s a good idea to get more than one estimate.

 

5. No Contract

Never agree to a job if there is no written contract.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Always require a written (not verbal) contract including all the details of the job you want and agree to. You and your contractor should sign a written contract agreed to by both parties.

 

6. Lack of Permits

Significant construction and renovation projects require you to have a building permit to ensure your work meets safety codes. Fraudulent contractors may try to get past this requirement, so they don’t have to deal with building inspectors, by not obtaining the required permits or requesting the homeowner apply for the permit with their own name.

 

How To Avoid This Scam: Always ask your contractor to get a building permit, if required. This will result in your local tax assessor being informed about your upgrade, but it filters out unlicensed contractors.

 

More General Tips For Avoiding Contractor Fraud

 

1. Verify insurance: Make sure to verify if your contractor has the necessary insurance to work in your area. Check with your contractor’s insurance carrier to confirm they have coverage for worker’s compensation, property damage, and personal liability should there be an accident.

2. Prepare for future service issues: Be sure you are well-informed about your warranty coverage and how to deal with future service issues.

3. Get your lien waiver: In the U.S., a lien waiver is a document from your contractor stating they received full payment.

 

4. Keep your contract: Stash your contract in a safe place just in case you have any questions after the work is finished.

 

Before Hiring a Contractor, Contact Your Insurer

Doing your due diligence by researching your contractor is the best way to avoid fraud. Be sure to ask for references and trust your gut if you feel anything is off. It’s also important to talk to your insurer before any work is commissioned to make sure it’s within your policy.

 

If you’re not happy with your current policy, be sure to contact Edison Insurance. We can help to customize your homeowners coverage so you have peace of mind.

Home Maintenance Checklist for Your Florida Home

Home maintenance is an integral part of owning a home, especially in Florida.  Conduct a home maintenance checklist by inspecting the areas of your home most subjected to wear and tear can help you understand how your homeowners insurance policy helps you prevent a claim from being denied and save money in the long run.

Read More

Remodeling your Kitchen during the Holidays from Edison Insurance Company

Remodeling your home for the holidays can be done easily and without affecting your insurance premium.  Edison Insurance explains the difference between major and minor home improvements.

Read More

Warning Signs of a Plumbing Leak

Edison Insurance Company is providing some warning signs and mitigation tips to reduce your chances of major water damage from occurring in your home.  

Read More

How to Spring Clean Fast

February is a month all about love, as such, you should take some time this month to show your home some love.

Read More

Fix a Leak Week


March 18-24 is “Fix a Leak Week”. Created by the EPA, Fix a Leak Week serves as a reminder to check for pipe leaks inside and outside of our homes. The EPA estimates household leaks account for nearly one trillion gallons of water lost nationwide each year. The most common types of leaks found in your home include faucets, toilets, and other valves. It is important you know how to check for leaks, so they can be repaired as soon as possible. Doing so will help the environment, avoid a potential water claim, and may save you some money on your water bill.
 
How to check for leaks:

  • The first way to identify a leak is by comparing your water usage. An average family of four can use roughly 400 gallons of water every day. If your usage exceeds 12,000 gallons per month, there is most likely a leak in your home.

 

  • Look for toilet leaks by placing a drop of food coloring in the toilet tank. If the color shows up in the bowl after about 10 minutes, there’s a leak. Don’t forget to flush the toilet after your test to avoid staining the tank.

 

  • Worn faucet washers and gaskets are the main cause of leaks in your sinks. Be sure to inspect them to see if they are leaking, or if any water is visible outside the pipe.

 
 
Just a little leak in a pipe can cause thousands in damages to your home. It is important you take steps to mitigate damages.  If you do not feel comfortable checking for leaks yourself, contact a local plumbing company for assistance. Although Fix a Leak Week is from March 18-24, remember to check for leaks inside and outside of your home throughout the year.
 
 
As a Florida homeowner, it is important to protect your property should the unexpected occur. Sufficient insurance coverage to fit the needs of your family is available through Edison Insurance Company. Should you have any questions or concerns about your policy, contact your agent, or call us at 866-568-8922. 

Painting Tips to Freshen up the Look of Your Home



 


After some time, your house can begin to look a little worn or dated. With a few simple steps, your home can look good as new without turning into a costly project. One of the best ways to do so is with a fresh coat of paint to add a pop of color. Here are a few tips to assist you with the painting process.

 
How to pick the right color and finish:
Picking a paint color can be very overwhelming with the hundreds of color options available at your local home improvement store. Consider bringing home a few different options before deciding on a color. Paint large areas of your walls to see which paint color will look best. A helpful tip is to see how your selections look during different times of the day and in different lighting as lights and shadows may change the color throughout the day. Don’t forget about the finish of your paint.  There are many options to choose from when picking the finish of your paint as well. You want to make sure you choose the right finish for the area of your home you are painting.
 

How much paint will you need?
To save some money, try to purchase the correct amount of paint for your area. Measure your walls and bring the measurements to your local home improvement or paint store and have an associate help you select a precise amount. Don’t forget to buy an extra quart of paint for touch-ups, you never know when you may need it.

 
You don’t have to paint an entire space:
If you do not want to paint an entire room, consider adding a simple accent wall for a pop of color. In doing so, you can add some nice dimensions to your room.  You don’t even have to paint a wall to get a fresh look. A simple coat of paint on your baseboards or crown molding can brighten up the look of your home. If you are looking for a simple pop of color, consider painting a cabinet or other piece of furniture a fun color.

 
We hope these tips will help you with your painting project. For more painting tips, click here.
 
Thank you for visiting the Edison Insurance Company Blog. Keeping your family and home safe and protected is our number one priority. Edison Insurance Company has taken a bright and innovative approach to Florida homeowners insurance with coverage options allowing you to customize a policy to best fit your needs. To learn more about us, or to receive a personalized home insurance quote, visit our website

Pages: Previous12NextReturn Top