California Department of Insurance
Wildfire Consumer Information
Phone: 1-800-927-HELP (4357) (Calling from within CA), 1-213-897-8921 (Outside CA), 1-800-482-4833 (TDD) Web site: http://www.insurance.ca.gov/wf-con-info/index.cfm
Consumer Communications Bureau (Hotline) The Department’s statewide toll-free consumer Hotline, 1-800-927-HELP (4357) provides callers with immediate access to current information on insurance issues. The Hotline is staffed by knowledgeable insurance professionals who can answer questions, give direction, and provide assistance to consumers who are experiencing insurance related problems or concerns. By calling the Hotline, a consumer can ask questions on insurance claims and underwriting practices as well as check the license status of his/her insurance company, agent, or broker.
Consumer Hotline: 1-800-927-HELP (4357) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. M-F
The website has a number of printable/viewable PDF format files on subjects that include Insurance Company Contact Info (updated 9/1/09); Homeowner Bill of Rights for Insurance Emergency; How to File a Complaint or Send an Inquiry to the Department; Important Insurance Tips; Information Guides; Useful Links to Other Agencies Providing Assistance to Firestorm Victims; Frequently Asked Questions; and Wildfires: What to do – Before, During and After
Contractors State License Board
Web site: http://www.cslb.ca.gov/
The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) protects consumers by licensing and regulating California’s construction industry. There are more than 316,000 licensed contractors in the state, in 43 different licensing classifications. In addition to educating consumers about contractors and construction law, CSLB activities include administering examinations to test prospective licensees, issuing licenses, investigating complaints against licensed and unlicensed contractors, issuing citations, suspending or revoking licenses, and seeking administrative, criminal, and civil sanctions against violators. In FY 2007/08 CSLB obtained more than $35.2 million in ordered restitution for consumers.On this Web site you can find educational materials about hiring contractors and the construction process. You can also check the status of a contractor’s license, find other important Contractors License Law information and file a complaint.
LA County Consumer Affairs (Contractor Fraud)
Inside LA County: 1(800) 593-8222
Outside the County: (213) 974-1452
Web site: http://dca.lacounty.gov/
Better Business Bureau:
Phone: (909) 825-7280
Web site: http://www.la.bbb.org/Home.aspx
Unfortunately natural disasters sometimes bring out the worst in some people – people who take advantage of those who have already been hard hit by flood damage to their homes by inflating prices for materials and repair services and providing substandard workmanship. When considering hiring any particular contractor, be sure to get and check references from them get a written contract specifying a price and start and end time for the work, and make no payment until after work is completed. If you have any doubts about a specific contractor or believe that you have been the victim of fraudulent business practices by a contractor, contact your county Department of Consumer Affairs and the Better Business Bureau for assistance.