As soon as a natural disaster strikes, so do scammers who promise to repair damages but only make off with your money.

The Maryland Insurance Administration quickly issued these tips on choosing a contractor and insurance claim adjuster:

Get at least three references from each contractor you’re thinking about hiring. Make sure the contractor provides proof that he or she is licensed, has insurance and bonding, and has the required building permits.

Demand to see the contractor’s Home Improvement Commission license, and make sure it’s not expired. And avoid those who require up-front payments.

Most people deal with the insurance-company provided adjuster, the insurance administration says. But you can hire an public claims adjuster to help negotiate with your insurance company. If you hire an adjuster and regret it, you have three business days under Maryland law to cancel the contract. Also, just because the adjuster you hire makes certain claims, the insurance company doesn’t have to go along with it, the state says.