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When a storm blows through and rips apart your home, the only thing you’re focused on is repairing the damage and getting life back to normal. Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who prey on this mentality and may be heading to your area.

Beware of Storm Chasing Roofing CompaniesThe Kentucky Legislature recently joined a growing list of states to take action this year to protect homeowners from contractor fraud and abuse. Among other details, the bill prohibits roofing contractors from requiring deposits or advance payment during pending insurance claims and it prohibits methods used to induce consumers to enter into contracts. This move is aimed at protecting homeowners from storm chasers.
 
What are storm chasers?

Storm chasers can be classified as individual contractors and/or companies that follow severe weather from area to area, hoping to make big bucks on home repairs. The most common storm chaser contractors go door-to-door promising quick fixes advertising themselves as “insurance recovery experts” or “specialists in insurance restoration.” They complete shoddy work on roofs and siding, collect homeowners’ insurance claim checks and then move on to the next storm ravaged area.

Why they should be avoided?

In addition to completing a careless and unprofessional repair, storm chasers bring an onset of frustration and liability to the homeowner. Many times, they show up to the door with a contract in hand. This contract gives them the right to negotiate with the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner. This allows them to receive the entire check of the homeowner’s payment which leaves the homeowner no control over how or when the work gets done or how much they are paid. In addition, repairs are generally never warrantied because most storm chasers leave the area as soon as they can. Lastly, storm chasers are also very damaging to the local economy because they deprive local contractors of business.

How to protect yourself

It is important for homeowners to be suspicious of any contractor who shows up at the door with a contract in hand offering you repairs and services that seem too good to be true. Storm chasers are great salesman, they generally will have an out-of-state driver’s license (which you can ask to see), and generally can’t provide a list of local suppliers. Sometimes storm chasers will even go so far as to take on the name of a local insurance company, to try and scam homeowners into believing they are a local office. Always ask for recent references of their work (storm chasers generally will not have any. Homeowners should also be aware of anyone offering “free materials” or anyone who doesn’t have the appropriate licensing such as certification of insurance, roofing license or manufacturer certifications. Above all, always be wary of anyone knocking on your door offering unsolicited repairs to your home. Legitimate and local insurance companies don’t generally walk door to door asking homeowners if there are any repairs they need.
 
Storm chasers can take a bad situation and only make it worse. Always work directly with your insurance agent when making home repairs. Even in emergency situations, don’t take a quick fix. It is always worth the time to get the repair done right, contact your local insurance office to get help as soon as possible and get your life back on track.


By Matt Reynolds - Google+
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6801 Dixie Hwy Suite 232
Louisville, KY 40258
Phone: 502-933-2255
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