What is a storm chaser?
‘Storm Chasers’ are companies that follow severe weather condition targeting homeowners who badly need home repairs due to hail and wind damage. They collect homeowner’s insurance claim checks in payment for their badly completed repair work. Storm Chasers then moved on to another storm ravaged area looking for their next target.
In some parts of the US, storm chasers came knocking on down doors as quickly as soon a storm subsides. Most of these companies will pose as ‘insurance recovery specialists’ or insurance restoration agents.
Why it’s a bad idea to trust Roofing Storm Chasers?
Storm Chasers offer free roof inspection and estimates. Once they have the homeowner’s confidence they will ask them to sign a contract for repairs needed in their roofs. These contracts will allow their company to communicate with homeowner’s insurance provider for the repairs or replacement.
When the homeowners agree to sign, they will lose a total control of the insurance settlement and the entire claim payment. They will then take in charge of all legalities in insurance claims. Most often storm chasers will cut corners like choosing low-quality materials to increase their profits. This will leave homeowners with poorly made roofing covering on their homes. Since these companies move from a place to another, they are not going to return to repair any problems with their work. Once they get the insurance claim check, they disappear for good.
How to Spot Roofing Storm Chaser Scammers
Most probably storm chasers will:
- Knock on doors offering some ‘irresistible’ discounted deals right after a devastating storm.
- Will send mail cards about their offers
- Will offer ‘Free Siding’ or ‘Free Roof’ to compensate for a deductible. These tactics are usually associated with fraud.
- Does not have any local references or unable to produce their most recent projects before the storm date.
- Unable to produce local supplier references from the previous projects. It is best to do research before allowing any companies to do repairs or replacement of roofs.
- Cannot produce any proof of manufacturer certifications. Storm Chasers does not have any good references of legitimate contractors. Ask for certification coming from GAF-Elk Master Elite Contractors, or CertainTeed 5-Star Contractors.
- Most likely these companies are not listed with the Better Business Bureau or have complaints filed against them.
- They have a newly made website with no local reviews on YELP, Google, Facebook, and other media facets.
- To increase profits, they will not pay the labor of the sub-contractors or pay them with very little wages.
- They sometimes contact out of state contractors to do the job because no one in the area would trust them.
- One of the red flags of storm chasers are they change their company names to hide their mischiefs.
- They target homeowners with dilapidated aged roofs that show enormous signs of wear and tear. In which they can claim from storm damage. Storm chasers will often look for missing or broken shingles that they can point to wind or hail damage.