In our previous blog we wrote about dealing with storm damage and making a claim for damage to your roof and home. We outlined the process of making the claim and discussed how things work in the relationship with expectations and requests between an agency, the client and the contractor. The other part to managing storm damage, is selecting your contractor. In the world of construction, general contracting and roofing there are company’s that focus on what we call “Storm Chasing” and it is exactly like it sounds. These company’s focus on business strictly generated from storms, they move from state to state as storms pop up throughout the country, based on news, maps, satellite generated areas of concentration and they pack up and travel to affected areas. They have a specific sales model they work off of, they have relationships with particular agency’s, they understand how to work the system and the clients. They often leverage illegal or fraudulent sales offers, such as deductible forgiveness, leveraging high pressure contracts, with marketing credits if you allow them to post a sign in your yard that they are doing your project, often times working to sell you more than you need. And even going to the length of creating additional damage to your roof or exterior while they are evaluating to stimulate more of a claim. There are so many things to consider when you have a “Storm Chasing” contractor cold call on your doorstep right after a storm. You may welcome it at first, they may present as helpful and understanding, they can also in some cases expedite the process if they have a relationship with your insurance company. Why is it important to use caution with these types of contractors?
When a company just pops up in any given area, it is important to consider where they came from. Every company should offer a workmanship warranty so a client has recourse for a particular period after their project is completed, how is a contractor from Texas, Kentucky or Florida going to service a warranty claim on a project in Michigan after they left the area? If a contractor has never previously worked in your city or town, what kind of laborers are they having do your install? Did they bring crews with them from the companys native town or city? Do they know these installers and understand their work quality? Are they recruiting upon arrival and establishing brand new relationships with unfamiliar laborers? Do they have deposit clauses in their contracts? What are their on line ratings and reviews? What kind of product systems are they installing? How long have they been in business? The presentation of most of these companies can be fast talking yet professional appearance, they move fast, closing the opportunity for questions and or appropriate considerations. If you have storm damage and are approached by an out of town contractor, we highly recommend getting additional quotes, checking on line reviews, checking with the BBB for business status and checking referrals. We have seen many unfortunate circumstances arise with clients whom have opted to use out of town contractors and the end result is typically additional out of pocket expenses and poor work quality with no recourse. When all the work is done, these contractors will be on their way to the next affected location; never looking back to what they left behind. We are always happy to walk through the comparison process if you have us do a proposal against a company like this. We are not afraid to acknowledge if someone has something better to offer if that is the case. It can be a great learning experience for us too!