Angie’s List: Repairs Following a Summer Storm
(WGGB) — Summer storm season is upon us, and while it’s important to stay safe when severe weather strikes, it’s also important to keep your guard up after the storm passes.
Shady contractors often travel from state to state — looking for vulnerable homeowners in desperate need of repair help.
Toppled trees and broken windows. The aftermath of severe weather can be overwhelming for homeowners, but some less scrupulous contractors see it differently.
The scramble to clean-up the damage offers storm-chasing scammers an opportunity to swindle you out of some cold, hard cash.
“When it comes to storm season, the worst stories we hear about are times when someone had storm damage and gets taken advantage of by a contractor. It’s important to understand who you are working with and you don’t want to make the situation worse. Once you’ve had a problem and had a storm come through, have tree damage, make sure you damage, make sure you access it and do the same research you would when research you would when you are hiring a company under any circumstances,” explains Angie Hicks of Angie’s List.
So how do you spot a scammer?
Hicks adds, “Watch for whether the company is local. They have marked trucks and vehicles, a local phone number because a lot of these projects that you are having done. Roofing for example, is something you need to last a long time. It might come with a warranty as well. You want a company that is going to stand behind that work.”
Another red flag? Companies that try to strong-arm homeowners into signing a contract on the spot by offering a “discount”. Hicks says a deal today should be a deal tomorrow.she also warns homeowners to steer clear of contractors who demand full payment upfront.
It’s also important to understand what your insurance policy covers before a storm hits and never sign over your insurance settlement upfront.
Angie’s List says you should also avoid a company that offers to pay your deductible. In some states, deductible help is considered insurance fraud.