Storm chasers are among the oldest types of roofing scams that, unfortunately, people still fall for. In this blog, Wortham Brothers Roofing shares a look at how this scam works, and how you can avoid them.
What Are Storm Chasers?
The term “storm chaser” describes individuals who take advantage of homeowners who didn’t have immediate resources to have their roofs repaired after a storm. They go from door to door and offer repair services, sometimes at ridiculously inflated prices. Often, the workmanship in these repairs are of poor quality, and isn’t likely to withstand another storm.
How to Identify Storm Chasers
Your best defense against storm chasers is knowing how they operate. The following are some of their characteristics.
They Appear Out of Nowhere — Storm chasers go door to door to offer their services, even when the homeowner hasn’t called a roof repair contractor yet.
They’re Not Local — Storm chasers are definitely not locals, and even if they can provide a local address, it’s probably fake.
They Can’t Present Proof of License or Insurance — They will make excuses when you ask for proof of their license or insurance. It’s never a good idea to hire an unlicensed contractor, storm chaser or no storm chaser. The results won’t likely comply with code, and therefore may have to be torn down.
They’re Asking You to Sign an AOB — Some storm chasers will try to get you to sign an Assignment of Benefits or AOB. This document basically authorizes these storm chasers access to your insurance policy rights to recover repair costs. Trustworthy roofers will never ask you to do anything of the sort, and will actually work with your insurance provider to ensure proper roof repair.
How to Avoid Storm Chasers
In addition to knowing their M.O., there are things that you can do to make sure you’re working with a legitimate roofing contractor. For instance, storm chasers make unsolicited visits, which should immediately raise a red flag. As with any emergency situation, the affected is the one who should be making the calls. Your roofer should be one that’s established locally.
Another way to avoid them is to make sure that you contact your insurance company first. Their representative, called an estimator, can walk you through the process. They may even recommend a local legitimate roofing contractor if you don’t already know one.