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Showing posts from July, 2007

The Low-Down On Mold

By Michelle Deininger, InsWeb The issue of mold in homes has been getting a lot of attention lately – with good reason. Homeowners face costly repairs when property is damaged by mold growth, and, in some cases, families experience serious health problems related to mold. As the problems mount, insurance companies are confronting rising claims costs and, sometimes, disagreements over who is responsible when mold attacks. First, the bad news: As a general rule, mold is not covered by homeowners insurance policies. Standard homeowners policies cover disasters and accidents, but aren’t designed to cover cleaning and maintenance, which is the category mold falls into according to insurers. An exception: In cases where mold results from some accident or disaster (such as bursting pipes), repairs and eradication may be covered. In addition, mold can cause serious health problems for people who suffer from asthma or have allergies (an estimated one in five of us), and can worsen cold sy

Angora Wildfire - Consumer Information

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE , CA How to Avoid Being Scammed During a Disaster June 29, 2007 09:37 AM PDT As the rebuilding process begins after the Angora wildfires in Lake Tahoe , be extremely cautious when hiring contractors. Unscrupulous contractors may take advantage of people who have experienced a catastrophic event. Take your time in choosing true professionals to repair your home. Immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local police, sheriff's department. Be cautious of flyers and business cards left on your doorstep. Nine Checks to Not Get Scammed... Get estimates from several licensed, bonded contractors. Check their credentials with your local Better Business Bureau or Home Builders Association. Ask your neighbors what they're paying for similar work. Inspect contractors' licenses and proof of liability insurance. Get a contract in writing. Avoid paying money up-front. Some reputable contractors will require partial, up