Katie Galan

Katie Galan

Licensing and contractors:

In a Feb. 17, 2021 press release, the governor’s office announced that the Texas Board of Plumbing Examiners

  • “… is able to give provisional licenses to out-of-state plumbers to increase the response to burst pipes and flooding. The governor will also issue a waiver that allows plumbers currently holding an expired license to assist with Texans in need following the storm through the waiving of certain fees and examination requirements.”
  • Look for BBB-accredited plumbers, roofers and other contractors on
  • .
  • Watch for scammers looking to take advantage of the severe weather, AKA storm chasers. Avoid hiring any contractor who uses high-pressure sales tactics such as “today only” offers.
  • According to the

, “It’s against the law for a contractor to

  • .”
  • Make sure you get all pricing and the scope of work in writing.
  • , regulates the actions of disaster remediation contractors who do not maintain offices within a county or adjacent county where a natural disaster occurred. Unless a disaster remediation contractor has an established office in the county or adjacent county where a property is located for at least one year prior to the contract, a disaster remediation contractor cannot require full or partial payment before beginning work and can only require partial payment reasonably proportionate to work performed.

Working with your insurance company:

You want to check your insurance policy to see what’s covered and make adjustments accordingly. Ask about your policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Your insurance company may also have recommended contractors if something happens. Make sure to check those contractors at BBB.org

  • .
  • Don’t sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don’t sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.

Price Gouging:

Price gouging following disaster declarations is illegal in Texas. The state attorney general

  • evaluates price gouging accusations. Keep in mind that high prices alone don’t constitute price gouging.
  • To read more about it or report potential price gouging, go to the Texas Attorney General’s
  • .

Renter’s Rights:

  • If you are a tenant and have damage, contact your landlord right away.
  • Contact your insurance company and review your rental agreement.
  • The Texas Attorney General’s office offers an overview of

. For the full tenants’ rights handbook, go to the Texas Bar’s

  • .

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Katie Galan is the regional driector for BBB serving the Heart of Texas. She can be reached at 844-222-4968, Ext. orkgalan@corpuschristi.bbb.org.

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