When a storm blows through town, taking shingles and siding with it, unfortunately, predatory contractors are sure to follow in its wake. If one shows up on your doorstep, offering you a great deal on the repairs, beware! Their tool bag contains more scams than tools.
How do Roofers and Other Contractors Try to Scam You?
- They might claim to fix your roof, requesting a big chunk of the money upfront. Unfortunately, they don’t ever make the repairs.
- A contractor might offer to deal with the insurance adjuster directly. Once the insurance company pays out, they take the money a run—again, without doing the repairs to your roof.
- Some roofers will give you a reasonable quote. They claim they can give you a deal because they are in the area or offering a “storm deal.” Then, once work is underway, they will raise the price due to something unexpected that arises while they build. You have no choice but to pay or be left with a hole in your roof.
- A contractor may pad the bill with exaggerated damages or material costs.
The Dangers of Cutting Corners
If your roofer doesn’t install the materials according to the manufacturer’s guidelines, your manufacturer’s warranty becomes void, so your roofer must do the job right! It is also essential that your contractor be insured and have employees that undergo regular safety training to reduce the risk of injury on your property. Being adequately insured reduces your risk of liability.
How to Avoid Predatory Contractors
Always call your insurance agent first to make your home insurance claim. They can send an adjuster to assess the damage. Your share could be denied if the insurance company doesn’t inspect the damage first. From there, get 2-3 estimates, at least, from reliable, local companies.
A recommendation from a family member or friend is a good starting point. Use an ESTABLISHED LOCAL contractor with a physical location from which they do business. This makes it less likely that they will disappear later. The warranty is useless if they offer a 20-year warranty but go out of business next year. Get at least three references and CHECK THEM.
Request the contractor’s state and local licenses. The contractor should also be bonded and insured, carrying liability and workers’ compensation insurance. Make sure their liability insurance hasn’t expired.
Personally, contact your insurance agent before assigning benefits directly to the contractor.
Never pay with cash in advance. An established business should be able to carry the cost of the materials until the work is completed.
Get a written proposal that doesn’t allow for wiggle room and unforeseen expenses.
Pay with a check or credit card rather than cash.
Is Your Home Sufficiently Covered?
Make sure you have the coverage you need! The independent insurance agents at Hermann Insurance want to help protect your motorhome without putting a big dent in your wallet. To discuss your insurance needs and how we can help meet them, Contact us today.