6 Warning Signs You Hired A Storm Chaser
When a major weather event occurs in Metro Detroit, it leaves a path of destruction and confusion in its wake. This happens because the resulting damages uproot not just trees and powerlines, but lives, homes and businesses. Most people are not sure what to do or who to call after they are affected by one of these weather events, and unfortunately there are thousands of unscrupulous contractors waiting to prey on that confusion.
Established local restoration contractors often refer to these types as “Storm Chasers.” The reason that name has such a negative connotation is because after the weather has passed and the work is completed, these types are nowhere to be found, and the real contractors are left to clean up and repair the messes they have made. Sadly, thousands of local home and business owners are tricked into using these “Storm Chasers” every year.
Our team here at Four Seasons Kanga Roof has compiled a list of the top 6 warning signs you are getting scammed by one of these Storm Chasers.
1. They cannot show you a brick and mortar location for more than the past 30-120 days, and working out of a residential home doesn’t count!
This is the number one telltale sign of a Storm Chaser. This is because they travel to where major weather events are and temporarily set up shop. There are now apps that alert these contractions when a certain wind speed or hail size are documented throughout the United States. As soon as these go off, these “Storm Chasers” descend into the area. Then as soon as the work has dried up, they hop back into their truck and drive off to the next area that was affected by weather, wherever that is throughout the country.
2. They cannot show you their license and insurance, or one that matches the business name they gave you.
This should be a big, big, red flag. Often when these Storm Chasers come into your town, they operate under someone else’s builders license. This is done to make it much more difficult for you to track them down after the project, and to limit their liability for warranty claims on their work. Even worse, they may purposefully choose to operate without a license or insurance. This puts all of the liability on you as the building or home owner, while reducing their costs.
3. They want to waive your deductible or offer a “Free Roof.”
This is a major “No-No” for the simple fact that it is fraud. As a contractor, if they waive your deductible, they are committing fraud. If an insurance company sues that contractor, they will have to be able to document each deductible was paid, and if not can lose their license and depending on the amount, may end up with jail time. You, as a home or building owner, can be held liable as well in the event of a lawsuit as evidenced by numerous ongoing lawsuits in Texas, Florida, and other major storm markets throughout the country where this same situation has occurred. The other concern you should have is, if they are willing to take shortcuts with the deductible and willing to risk fraud, where else are they willing to do that when it comes to installing your roof or siding?
4. They want to split the settlement from the insurance company.
Some contractors will try to pack your claim full of illegitimate items, not actually do all of the work listed, and then just split the cash settlement. The problem is you are still left with a subpar replacement roof or system and now you will not be able to make another claim since you originally made the claim on that same area but didn’t do the assigned work. In the end all you are doing is padding the wallet of a subpar contractor to allow him to do subpar work on your home or business. Not to mention, billing for work you did not do, falls back into the same fraud issue. The other reason this is a giveaway is that they are seeking out subcontractors and labor at the cheapest rates possible to do the work. This is in direct opposition to established local contracting companies who have served the area even when there was no storm work, and will still be there with their own certified installers, after the storm work is done.
5. They have no online reviews.
The first question you should ask is “Why not?” There is no legitimate reason for a service provider (roofer or contractor) to not have reviews online from previous clients in our current modern world. Would you buy your prescription drugs from a pharmacy that you had never heard of, and no one knew if they were giving you the right drugs? It is the same for contractors, why would you trust a contractor who has no way to verify they are who they say they are, or that they do what they say they will do. A real contractor takes pride in their online presence (website, social media, and reviews) because they know it helps calm any homeowner concerns during what can be a very emotional and stressful time.
6. The first time you have ever heard of the contractor was when they knocked on your door.
This is a big one, because “Storm Chasers” know that homeowners are vulnerable and super anxious just to “get it fixed!” They will often say yes to the first person who comes to the door and claims to be able to help. In reality, good contractors will go out and knock on doors of areas that have been affected, but they will have information and documentation to prove they are a real company, have been located in your local area for years, and have experience dealing with your specific type of damages. Normally you should have seen their vehicles or signs around town, or seen the in the local paper so you know they are real.
At the end of the day, when you have experienced damages from a weather event, whether that is hail, wind, ice dams, or fallen branches your best bet is to reach out to locally owned and operated insurance restoration contractors. They are the experts who will work with you and your insurance company to make sure you receive everything you are entitled to, they will do the work, and then they will back it up with guarantees for years to come!
At Four Seasons Kanga Roof we offer complimentary storm damage inspections for both commercial and residential buildings. We know how to spot both visible and latent damages and can often perform the needed temporary repairs right on the spot to prevent further damages from occurring. We then can take you step by step through the insurance restoration process to ensure you receive everything you are entitled to.
To schedule your very own inspection, please contact us at 586-566-0308, submit an inquiry on our website at www.kanga-roof.com, or you can email me directly at email@example.com. We look forward to allowing our award winning team to partner with you to get your home or business back to its original dry and whole form.