Bryan Cohen Jan. 20, 2014, 3:26pm

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) - West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey warned consumers on Thursday about companies offering to sell insurance to cover sewer line, plumbing and water line repairs.

Morrisey gave the advice after a nine-county region in the state was impacted by a chemical leak. He said some companies attempt to take advantage of consumers in times of crisis.

"Any time you have a crisis or disaster, people will look for different ways to try to make money off of it," Morrisey said.

"While many of these businesses are legitimate and want to assist homeowners, business owners and citizens in their time of need, others are not. Consumers should always do their homework prior to signing any agreement and look into whether the company offering the product is legitimate and if the product or service they are offering is really needed."

Morrisey provided consumers with tips about what to do if they are approached by companies selling insurance to cover plumbing repairs.

"As the water crisis continues, consumers may get many calls from businesses offering services that sound good but may not offer the services they need," Morrisey said. "Take your time, weigh your options and do your homework. Never make a decision out of panic."

Morrisey also warned consumers about price gouging when they decide to repair or replace appliances that could have been damaged by the chemical leak.

"Purchasing a new appliance, or repairing your existing one, can be a major expense that takes a big bite out of your budget," Morrisey said. "Our goal is to help consumers make the best choice for themselves. The best way to ensure you are making a smart decision is to do research before deciding whether to repair or replace an appliance."

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