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Be Cautious Hiring Help Following a Catastrophe

Important Tornado Rebuilding Information

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04/27/2010 - Yazoo City, Miss.

Allstate Insurance (NYSE: ALL) reminds residents affected by severe weather and tornadoes impacting the Southeast over the weekend to protect themselves from unscrupulous contractors. A good, trustworthy contractor can be a key partner in the rebuilding process. However, unscrupulous contractors may take advantage of people who have recently experienced a catastrophic event.

Ten Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed:

  1. Take your time in choosing a contractor to repair your home.

  2. Get estimates from several licensed, bonded contractors.

  3. Check their credentials with your local Better Business Bureau or Home Builders Association.

  4. Inspect contractors' licenses and proof of liability insurance.

  5. Get a contract in writing.

  6. Avoid paying money up-front. Some reputable contractors will require partial, up-front payment, but these pre-work payments shouldn't exceed the cost of materials or 20 percent of the total estimate.

  7. Follow local building codes and inspection procedures.

  8. If anyone performs unauthorized work on your house or property and demands payment, consider contacting local authorities.

  9. Don't sign over an insurance settlement check to the contractor.

  10. Immediately report any suspicious behavior to your local police, sheriff's department or your state's Department of Insurance.

Allstate policyholders who have suffered damage as a result of the tornadoes and severe weather in the Southeast can file a claim by contacting their agent, calling 1-800-54-STORM, visiting a Mobile Claims Center or logging onto

The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation’s largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the “You’re In Good Hands With Allstate®” slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help more than 17 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via and 1-800 Allstate®.


Christina Loznicka

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