Better Business Bureau is Telling Everyone to Watch for IRS Telephone Scams

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 15, 2014. It has 0 comments.

Scammers are calling unsuspecting people posing as IRS agents.  They will claim you owe back taxes and will have you arrested if they are not paid.  They may ask you to go to CVS and buy a Green Dot Prepaid Visa then will want you to give them the card number.  If you hang up they will call back and threaten to send someone from the sheriff’s department.

DO NOT FALL FOR THIS.  If it sounds fishy, it’s probably fish.  No one will ever be arrested under the above described terms. No one from the IRS would ever ask you to go to a CVS and purchase a prepaid card.  While most of you would never fall for this, please inform your elderly parents, friends, or family which seems to be easier targets.

For more detailed information about this scam go to the Better Business Bureau website

These Three Steps Protect Homeowners After a Home Renovation

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 8, 2014. It has 0 comments.

After a home renovation is complete, no matter how big or small, there are still risks that homeowners must consider. Once the materials are packed up, the home and grounds are back in order, and the workers have left, there are a few things left to do.

There are three final steps homeowners need to take once a home renovation is complete, to minimize risk and protect homeowners and their homes.


An inspection of the home and work completed should be considered after the renovations are complete. At the very least a thermographic inspection of the home should be scheduled to look for post-construction defects. Scheduling this immediately after work is completed will find issues that can be corrected before they become larger problems for homeowners.


Homeowners should work with the contractor and any outside vendor to make sure all temporary fire, burglar, and perimeter lighting systems have been shut down. One centralized security system should be in place. For homeowners who had no previous system, the additional value that a large home renovation can add makes this a good time to consider the use of a security system.

If any security codes were shared with the contractor or any subcontractors, these must be reset. It is in the best interest of a homeowner to set brand new codes once the job is complete to ensure that only the homeowner and residents are able to access the system.


Home insurance coverage will need to change once renovations are complete to factor in the added value of the home. The agent may come to the property or send a separate expert out to inspect the completed renovations. Homeowners will be provided with a customized estimate for coverage, which is typically full-replacement coverage. New furnishings, artwork, and other valuables that are often added after a renovation will also be factored into the estimate for coverage.

Some mass market insurers do not typically take this step and often only offer replacement value at 25 percent over market value. Homeowners will need to make sure they understand what kind of insurer they work with and what their agent is able to offer. Homeowners may need to consider the use of high net worth (HNW) market carriers for their insurance coverage, especially after a major renovation.

Being mindful of risks before construction and during the home renovation process will help ensure the job is completed with safety in mind and to the best of everyone’s abilities. Minimizing risk after construction is complete will make sure homeowners have peace of mind and are completely covered in case of a disaster or accident.

3 Safety Risks During High-End Home Renovations

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 4, 2014. It has 0 comments.

Once the contractor has been selected, the insurance coverage determined, and the job begins, the risks in a home renovation are far from over. During construction, the risks of harm and injury to people and theft or destruction of property must be addressed. The contractor and homeowner must consider several safety considerations and their own responsibilities while the job is being completed.


For homeowners and their families who remain onsite during the renovation, there are a few safety precautions that need to be taken. For families with children, work should be scheduled while children are at school or out of the home whenever possible. Physical harm from the jobsite is one consideration, as well as the threat of kidnapping of family members. This potential threat highlights the need for comprehensive background checks on all crew members.

Where allowable by local laws and ordinances, temporary barriers may need to be erected around the job site to keep people out. Motion-sensor security lighting should be added for two reasons: lighting the area for anyone approaching the job site at night as well as alerting residents to anyone entering their property after hours. Signs should also be posted around the area warning curious passersby and neighbors that construction is going on and to be careful.


Because of the materials used and some of the work that must be completed, fires are a real threat for any home renovation. Workers should properly store flammable materials at the end of each work day and follow a “hot works” program for soldering and welding to address how soldering and welding will be handled during construction and ensure that workers inspect the area to protect combustible materials from heat and sparks.

Fire extinguishers must be available throughout the home. Both the homeowner and contractor must have a clear understanding of their roles in the use of any alarm and sprinkler systems. Homeowners should address their responsibilities with their home insurance agent in the event alarm or sprinkler systems are deactivated during construction.


While the risk to people is great during a home renovation, homeowners cannot forget the possibility of damage to their property. Following fire safety precautions will help mitigate these issues, but protection from the weather must also be considered. Depending on the type of renovation, parts of the interior may be exposed during construction.

Store valuables or furniture during the renovation, if possible. Workers should drape the work area in tarps during the day and wrap the open section of the home at the end of the work day. Homeowners should also talk to the contractor to determine the plan for drainage issues if gutters, leaders, or grades are temporarily repositioned during the renovation.

Homeowners must be mindful of the safety risks to themselves, their family, and their property during any home renovation – especially on a complex job. Working with the contractor and subcontractors will help keep the job site and everyone on it safe from harm.

3 Biggest Risks in Home Renovation – Before Construction Begins

Written By Charlotte Insurance on December 1, 2014. It has 0 comments.

There are plenty of risks associated with a home renovation, especially construction on custom homes or projects that are detailed and complex. Understanding the risks and how to mitigate them prior to the start of construction will save time and money for homeowners.

The three biggest risks pre-construction for a home renovation are selecting a contractor, formalizing the contract, and making sure all parties are properly covered by insurance.


Only 27 states require contractors to carry a license in order to legally work in the state. Finding a contractor that is reputable and will get the job done can be the most difficult task in a home renovation. Homeowners working with an architect may have an advantage as a good architect should be able to recommend several contractors for owners to choose from. Recommendations can also come from Realtors, family, and friends who have successfully worked with contractors in the past.

Contractors must be thoroughly vetted. Asking specific questions about finances, complaints, and previous projects can eliminate a contractor or add them to the short-list for bidding. Any hesitation or refusal to supply information is a red flag and should be a cause for concern.


Once the arduous process of selecting a contractor has been completed, the next risk comes in the form of the contract. Many contractors will use a standard template for their contract. Homeowners must make sure that the contract is tailored to the specifics of the home renovation. Every aspect of the job must be included, as well as language guaranteeing that the safety of everyone on the job site is the responsibility of the contractor.


To make sure the homeowner and the home renovation are properly insured, the homeowner’s insurance agent should be consulted during the planning of the project as well as the selection of the contractor. They will work to make sure any problem with the job doesn’t affect the homeowner but lands on the shoulders of the contractors and subcontractors.

The agent will help to make sure that the homeowner is named as additionally insured on the contractor’s policy. They will also look for adequate Workers Compensation insurance and Commercial General Liability insurance for all contractors and subcontractors. The risk to homeowners is that without adequate insurance coverage and specific language in the policy and contract, they may be forced to pay for medical care, damages, and other costs that can be incurred during a home renovation.

Homeowners need to understand the risks of home renovations prior to the start of construction. Taking steps to minimize the risks saves money and time, as well as minimizing stress.