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18 December 2015

Cumbria Trading Standards warn against flood `exploiters`

Flood recovery image

Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Service are warning householders in the county affected by the recent floods to be extra vigilant when dealing with insurance claims management companies which appear out of the blue without prior appointment.

Whilst representatives from these companies may seem to be offering a much needed solution to help repair flood damage and get you back on your feet, Trading Standards are urging residents to use caution and heed the following advice:

  • Always speak to your insurer before engaging with any company offering these types of services.

  • Be wary of companies offering a quick fix solution - follow our standard advice which is not to deal with cold-callers. Insurers are prioritising claims related to floods, so dealing with unknown traders is not advised and should not be necessary.

  • Furthermore be aware of traders using terms such as "improvements" - what flood-affected households are looking for is restoration not renovation.

  • Legitimate insurance companies should regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority so ask for proof of this.

  • Be aware your statutory cancellation rights may not apply for contracts classed as emergency repairs.

Councillor John McCreesh, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Trading Standards, said: "I would urge people to use caution and don't rush into any deals with claims management firms offering what may seem an easy solution. Having your home flooded is devastating enough, without risking being ripped off by unscrupulous people prepared to profit by others' misery. If you have any concerns about these cold callers, report them to the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454040506."

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Cumbria County Council Trading Standards Service are warning householders in the county affected by the recent floods to be extra vigilant when dealing with insurance claims management companies which appear out of the blue without prior appointment.