Top 5 issues costing consumers

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation released a new report that shows the top 5 issues costing consumers in Massachusetts. After doing some digging, here’s a look at the biggest problems, and ways you can keep you and your money safe.

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation here in Massachusetts says home improvement contractors gave residents some of the biggest issues last year. Tom Ewing, a Roofing Consultant, says the most dangerous thing you can do is hire an unregistered contractor because it could lead to out-of-pocket expenses.

“If there’s an accident at the house, if one of the workers falls off the roof and gets hurt, the homeowner’s insurance will have to cover that,” said Ewing.

However, the biggest scheme of them all? Well that comes from insurance. Consumer Affairs says it was the top issue for consumers in 2013. 22News spoke with the Vice President of Insurance at AAA in Pioneer Valley. He says always make sure you’re insurance company is licensed and nearby.

“Products such as insurance is so complex that you want to make sure you’re dealing with someone who is local that you can reach out to and find in case there is a problem you can go back to them,” said Steve Brochu.

Brochu says go through your address book, and contact friends and family for referrals. Consumer Affairs officials say there are a lot of thieves trying to put their hands in your pockets.

“The issues many of them do face, whether it’s about insurance, home improvement contractors, they have a lot of company,” said Barbara Anthony, Undersecretary of Consumer Affairs.

In total, the state office of consumer affairs saved consumers more than 5-million dollars last year. To look up if your home repairs contractor is certified, Click Here.  To determine if your insurance agent/agency is licensed, Click Here.

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