The Craven Agency Blog - Contractor Fraud

Contractor Fraud

Hello everyone, it’s me again, time for another installment from the world of The Craven Agency’s Blog.

This one hit’s close to home. We are all aware of contractor fraud. You may have experienced it firsthand or maybe know of someone that has had it happen to them. It’s happening in our own back yard. Right here in the Ark-La-Tex region.

Recently, up watching the news and waiting on the weather forecast before heading off to bed. The local news had just aired an expose’ on this very subject. They focused on two victims right here in Shreveport. After viewing the 2-part series my heart went out to those people.

Thinking about it for half a second, I thought, I wonder if anyone is going to help these people put their houses back together? I mean, those “contractors” (I’m using air quotes BTW) had really left those folks in a mess. One of the victim’s had tarps on the roof and water raining in their house.

My second thought was, maybe I’ll reach out to my contractor buddies and a few of my clients to see if we can coalesce a group of people to help. So that’s what I’m doing, and not to my surprise, we have people pledging to help in any way they can.

I reached out to the local tv station(KTBS), and they graciously assisted me in connecting with the victims, now we are putting together a plan to help these people.

Which leads me to this blog. The state of Louisiana’s insurance commissioner had released an email last month addressing this very issue. This is great information about how to avoid Contractor Fraud and steps to take if you do encounter it.

Here it is: Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon urges residents affected by Hurricane Ida to take prudent steps to protect themselves while working with contractors. It’s not uncommon for major natural disasters to prompt complaints about contractor fraud and unfair practices.

The recovery process following a major hurricane is already tough but unscrupulous contractors can make that situation even more difficult. Policyholders should request a clearly worded and itemized contract and review it with a contractor to be certain they agree with its contents before signing the quote.

A contract should include the following:

  • The name of the builder, permanent address and key contact information.
  • A separate breakout of labor and cost of materials.
  • An agreed upon schedule for the homeowner to make payments only after construction milestones are achieved.
  • The contractor is responsible for getting all required permits.
  • The date the project is to begin and the date it is to be completed.
  • Proof of required licenses and insurance coverage from the start date to the finish date.
  • Consider obtaining a bond
  • A statement guaranteeing that the work area will be left in its original condition when the job is done.

When preparing to work with a contractor, a property owner should:

  • Beware of unwarranted solicitation from individuals canvassing neighborhoods going door to door.
  • Get multiple bids for the job from licensed and insured contractors.
  • Check a contractor’s license by contacting the Louisiana State Licensing Board for Contractors. The LSLBC also has tips for working with contractors.
  • Look for complaints against a prospective contractor at the Better Business Bureau and check reviews whenever possible.
  • Consider asking the contractor’s insurance carrier or agent to mail a certificate of insurance coverage directly to you. ( get a copy of the policy)
  • Never sign your insurance check over to your contractor. Retain control of the funds and disburse periodic payments as repair work is completed in accordance with the schedule in the contract.
  • Pay as work is completed in accordance with the contract. Always pay by check or money order and keep receipts. Never pay with cash.

If your contractor has not begun work within 45 days of taking a deposit, they may be in violation of Louisiana’s contractor fraud statute. If you have complaints about contractor fraud or price gouging, contact local law enforcement or file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office. If you have grievances about workmanship, hire an attorney.

About the Louisiana Department of Insurance: The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting

Hope this has been helpful. For those interested in volunteering to help our local victims, holler at me through this blog or you can email me at

You may also view the full report on KTBS’ website. Search for contractor fraud it should pop right up.

Thanks again for reading our little blog, also my apologies, for I am not a writer. Until next time, stay safe and thanks.