In 2016 alone, there were over 20,200 reports of severe weather involving wind, hail or tornadoes. Storm chasers pay attention to weather reports and know insurance companies will allow for roof replacements. They blanket those areas, pass out leaflets or show up for unannounced inspections and take advantage of vulnerable unsuspecting home owners.
Watch for these Scams
- Raising price of a job after it has started. Some dishonest contractors offer a very low bid that they hope the homeowner will jump at. Then they claim unexpected costs or unforeseen “problems” arise. Sometimes they may even remove the old roof and say they will leave if more payments are not made. Usually the contractor and the homeowner discuss upfront any problems that may affect prices later. There may be circumstances when changes may occur; like where a roof’s decking may not be obvious until upper layers have been removed. A change order that both agree upon should be signed if any increase or decrease is in order. Contractors get notice ahead of time if material costs go up, so that should not be an issue.
- High Tactic Pressure – Homeowners have little experience on such a large expense such as replacing a roof; it is usually only done one or twice in their lifetime. Some scammers will pressure you with a special deal and try to get you to sign a contract on the spot. Avoid signing any waivers or contingency agreements.
- Watch for out of state tags on their trucks – Always ask if they are associated with an out of state company. Many use a PO Box as an address and forward their calls out of state to appear local.
- Some storm chasers travel with their own adjusters -This is a multi million dollar industry. Storm scammers can also pretend to be your insurance company, or tell you that they have been sent by your insurance company: they may ask for personal information on the phone. Your insurance company should always let you know ahead of time before a contractor etc. is sent.
- FEMA Impersonators – If anyone claims they are endorsed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, this could be a scam. FEMA doesn’t endorse contractors.
- So always be patient and calm. If you don’t understand something, ask it to be explained to you. Trust your local contractors. They will take the time to sit down with you and explain the process.
- Advanced Home Improvements – Osseo, MN will always keep you, the homeowner, their number one priority. Don’t be a victim of a storm chaser. Call Jeff now for a free estimate. 763-286-4000