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FOX43 Finds Out: Avoiding Scams After Flooding

YORK, Pa -- Basements are still drying out after flooding in parts of central Pennsylvania and while people are waiting on repairs, experts want to make sure those people are not getting scammed.

"I would say the majority of people I`ve spoken to have never had water damage before."

Steve Horning is an insurance agent with State Farm.

He says most homeowner and renter insurance policies typically do not cover flood damage, meaning a lot of the repairs may have to be paid for by the homeowner.

Horning says there are things people can do to make sure they're paying for some real work to be done.

"One warning sign as a homeowner you should watch out for is unsolicited quotes."

Horning also says to get your quotes in writing and get more than one quote so you can compare what the repair costs.

A red flag could be a company is asking for a full payment in advance and double check to see if that company or contractor has a license with the state.

"If you`re in an area where there has been some flood damage, also watch for signs. You`ll see companies from out of the area posting yard signs around the area - call me for a free quote," said Horning.

The insurance agent says when you're insurance does not cover something, you really have to do your homework so you don't waste your money.

"You just have to watch out for price gauging and promises that they can`t deliver on"

In a situation like this, remember that the good companies are going to be busy, so have an open conversation about how long the process should take and call around.

Also, know that if a company can't make it to your house for a few weeks to get the work done - that does not mean it's a scam - it could just mean they're busy doing legitimate work.

"We`ve had about 700 property damage claims, just State Farm that is, in the state of Pennsylvania and a vast majority of that has been in your viewing area," said Horning.

Another to look out for after flooding could be cars that are for sale that ended up being damaged by the water.

Horning says you should always check a CARFAX report, search the VIN online and go see the vehicle in person to inspect it.

If you have a story you want Jackie to look into, FOX43 wants to find out. Send Jackie a message on Facebook or email FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.