Don’t be the victim of a roofing storm chaser scam!
Every year, storm chaser roofing companies target victims of hail storms and other natural disasters in order to make a quick buck. In our last blog, the experts at Planet Roofing went over how to spot storm chasers and the dangers of working with them. A big part of protecting yourself from storm chasers and their scams is to do your homework about who exactly is providing you with the roofing services you need in Denver. Here are a few things you can do to hire the right roofers and protect yourself from storm chasers:
#1. Think twice before hiring a door-to-door roofer.
As we mentioned in our last blog, storm chasers target areas affected by storms, and they often go door-to-door in neighborhoods offering to fix the damage. In many cases, storm chasers will tell you that your insurance company sent them, but rest assured that your insurance company won’t send anyone to your home to inspect your roof without telling you first.
Not only do these scam artists pretend to be roofers; in the past, they have also posed as Federal Emergency Management Agency employees, building code inspectors and insurance adjusters. Regardless of who is ringing your doorbell about your roof, get a second opinion and always ask for identification.
#2. Don’t think that you’re safe just because the storm didn’t make national news.
When minor storms occur, many homeowners lull themselves into a false sense of security since storm chasers typically go after areas with storms that make the national news. However, that isn’t always the case. Storm chasers have been known to target people in areas with high winds, hail and minor storms that don’t always make national headlines, so be on the lookout for storm chasers even after smaller storms.
#3. Never agree to pay in full for work up-front or in cash.
If you hire a legitimate contractor, you will probably have to pay for some of the materials up-front, but this will usually only account for about a third or a fourth of the total price of your repair or replacement, and legitimate contractors also provide written contracts when they ask for money. However, one of the most effective storm chasing scams involves providing the victim with a fake estimate, asking for payment for the entire job up-front, then providing either shoddy work or just skipping the work altogether and heading out of town.
#4. Hire your own insurance adjuster to assess the damage.
If the legitimacy of the roofing company you are considering working with is questionable, don’t just take their word for it when they tell you that you have roof damage. Another common scam storm chasers engage in is telling people that they have damage when it actually doesn’t exist. Not only will hiring your own insurance adjuster help you avoid working with a storm chaser, it will also provide you with a baseline to compare other estimates with as well.
#5. Question too-good-to-be-true promotions.
Fraudulent roofers will often offer promotions that are just too good to be true, including free work and agreeing to pay your deductible for you. If a promotion seems overly generous, then you might just be facing a scam.
#6. Do your homework about the company.
Scam roofing companies can seem very professional and realistic on the surface, but in most cases, when you dig a little deeper, you’ll find many red flags. No matter what roofing service you need, always make sure that roofers are properly licensed, they are in good standing with the Better Business Bureau, they are insured and that they are willing to provide you with references. You should also search for their address online or drive by their office. Scammers have been known to provide fake addresses.
#7. Always ask for a written contract
Any legitimate contractor should be able to provide you with a written contract. This contract should include the work needed, the timeline and the payment schedule, not just the cost of the project.
Don’t be one of the many victims of storm chasing scams in Colorado. Protect yourself and get the professional roofing services you need by turning to Planet Roofing. We offer free roofing inspections in Denver, so contact us today to schedule yours!