Hundreds of Californians whose properties have been damaged or destroyed by this summers wildfires must now work with insurance companies to rebuild their homes and lives and state regulators are warning them to watch for scams.

If theres someone waiting at your home when you return after an evacuation is lifted, and they offer to help you get more money from your insurance company, theyre committing a felony. California law requires independent claims adjusters to wait seven days after a loss before approaching a property owner.

Nancy Kincaid with the Department of Insurance says you can certainly hire an independent adjuster if you want.

There are some people who believe you can do better in your settlement with an insurance company using an independent adjuster, she says. But what some people dont realize is that you pay for that adjusters services it ranges between usually 15-to-18 percent of your total claim payout.

Kincaid says if you dont want to hire an independent adjuster but youre confused or dissatisfied with your insurers offer, the Department of Insurance can help.