In a past blog we talked about how to tell if your roof is damaged and needs replacement. Well, with the recent storms around the metro area lately we have been getting some phone calls for hail damage on roofs and siding.
In this blog we are going to address “storm chasers”. What is a storm chaser? A storm chaser in a sense is somebody who follows a storm in an area, and knocks on doors to get potential business. If you have ever been in an area that was hit with hail you will most likely know what storm chasers are.
Some of these businesses are local, and some are out-of-state that work under a license of a local company. As always, before hiring any company to complete work on your home you need to do your necessary research and make sure that you are hiring a qualified local company.
How do storm chasers work? Well, usually they approach homeowners at a vulnerable time, such as right after a storm. When these individuals approach the homeowner they usually tell them that they can assess if there is damage, contact their insurance company, and take care of all the paperwork for them. In essence, these are all really good; however, a storm chaser will most likely require you to sign a contract on the spot to continue working together.
In most cases, a storm chaser will require you to sign a contingency contract to continue the process. This contingency contract might have a statement in it that says something like: if you work with us we will charge what the insurance company charges, and if you choose not to work with us then we will charge you a percentage of the overall costs.
So let’s say you sign a contingency contract with the company and you decided to back out and work with another company – in this situation you may have to pay up to 10% or 20% of the claim costs to the company that you signed a contingency contract with.
What should look for before working with a company?
- Are they licensed, do they have insurance, where are they located?
- If they are not a local company who will handle any warranty claims?
- Will you call for warranty claims?
- What materials are they going to use on your roof?
Of course, everything needs to be in writing. Do not assume that you and the company are thinking the same thing. Some people say storm chasers are prepared for a storm and local roofing companies are reacting to a storm. As a local remodeling company we cater to our clients needs by having established and experienced crews to handle your remodeling needs, whether it is a roof, kitchen remodel, etc.
The last couple of weeks due to the storms we've been getting numerous phone calls from clients that have signed contracts with companies and have not been able to get a hold of them. We have also been hearing stories of some signing contracts and not really knowing what they were signing.
So, our advice is before signing any contract whether it is a contingency contract or a remodeling contract. Do your research first! Any reputable company will allow you the time to think about what you are signing; give you the opportunity to ask questions, and to make sure you are comfortable before moving forward.