What are Storm Chasers and why are they bad?

Storm chasers are companies or individuals who follow strong storms from city to city seeking to make home repairs (mostly roofing and siding) to homes that have been damaged. Knowing that there will be many insurance claims, these people are motivated by the allure of easy money. They range from single man operations to companies with multiple crews knocking on doors or taking out advertisements under the guise of “Insurance Restoration Experts”, “Insurance Recovery Specialists”.

Why are they bad?

One of the first thing storm chasers do is have the homeowner sign a contract allowing the contractor to negotiate directly with the insurance company. Oftentimes these contracts give the contractor a tremendous amount of power taking away the homeowners right to make important decisions about the scope and quality of the repairs. Even in cases where the repair may not be done to the homeowners satisfaction, such as low-grade materials being used or shoddy workmanship due to cutting corners, the customer may not be able to prevent payment and may legally be obligated to sign over the insurance payment regardless of the amount or satisfaction level.
Warranty work is another issue, even if the repair looks right at first, within months to years problems can occur. As these companies are normally from other states, most, if they still exist at all, are reluctant to come hundreds of miles for repairs on roofs done in the past and may leave the homeowner holding the bag when problems arise.

Know what to look for

  • Soliciting door to door, insisting on having a signature now
  • High Pressure Sales Tactics
  • Out of state tags and Identification/Drivers License
  • Unable to produce certifications and licenses (especially Manufacturer certifications from GAF, Certainteed, Owens Corning and others)
  • Unable to produce proof of insurance and workmen’s compensation, without these you could be held liable for their accidents!
  • Unable to produce substantial recent, local references. Especially if all they can produce is a few from the most recent storm.
  • Doesn’t have a physical location or office and support staff. This can indicate instability which is something you should be concerned about.
  • The best advise we can give is, do you homework before signing or hiring any roof contractor, scams are always out there and by doing proper research you can be sure that the contractor you are hiring will be there when you need them the most and will get the job done right!

    If you’d like to know more please see Do Your Homework! for the information you need to not get ripped off!

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