A hailstorm has just ravaged your local area, and suddenly there are people at your door telling you they can repair your home’s damage quickly and easily.
Before you sign a contract, remember that fraudsters often follow severe weather. These unscrupulous repairmen are looking to make a quick dollar. The scam involves accepting your money and then doing little or no work to repair the damage caused by the storm.
“Storm-chasing contractors are transient, moving around the country following recent storm activity to increase their chances of getting a sale,” says Chad Tuttoilmondo, a property claims specialist at Erie Insurance. “They are driven by volume and oftentimes do not have a homeowner’s best interest in mind.”
Having to deal with weather damage is bad enough; don’t become a victim of hail fraud as well.
“Due diligence should be a part of the research any homeowner does prior to hiring a contractor,” says Tuttoilmondo says. To do your part, consult a hiring a contractor checklist before you give someone the job.
Tuttoilmondo also recommends contacting your Erie Insurance Agent immediately. “Take note of the date and time of loss, and take photos that can help support your claim,” he says. A legitimate contractor will be ready to work with your insurance company throughout the repairs, while a “storm chaser” will move on in hopes of easier money.
Finally, do not authorize any repair work to be completed prior to the adjuster’s inspection. (The same applies to discarding any property that was damaged.) Evidence plays a crucial role when it comes to settling your claim.