Storms can bring more than roof damage in their wake. All too often, they bring along storm chasers as well. The term “storm chaser” describes roofers who take advantage of desperate homeowners. They appear after severe weather hits the area, then do whatever it takes for them to make a profit. This often means making shoddy repairs, or not even making a repair.
How can you spot a storm chaser roofing company?
Whether you’re already facing roof damage or want to prepare for it in case, you can learn how to spot storm chasers. A good way to begin evaluating new roofers is by asking the following questions:
1. Where is the business actually based?
Your best bet is to hire a local company for your roofing repair. If the roofer in question is not locally-based, treat it as a red flag. Be aware that some storm chasers may try to calm your suspicions by partnering with a local company. This can be an attempt to hide shady business practices. There is no substitution for a reputable local roofer, who will always be around to resolve any problems you might have.
2. Are they asking you to sign an AOB?
Another red flag is the roofer requesting an AOB, or Assignment of Benefits. Signing an AOB will hand over all your insurance policy rights to recover costs. A reputable company will not demand you assign over your rights for them to use.
3. Does their offer seem too good to be true?
The old saying, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” holds true when it comes to spotting a storm chaser roofer. They may offer to pay your insurance deductible for you or even offer you a cashback incentive. These practices are illegal and are designed to get homeowners to sign with them impulsively.
4. Are they pressuring you into signing something?
Reputable roofing companies will not be too pushy about getting your business. It’s important to take the time to research the roofing company you hire beforehand. A trustworthy company will be understanding, while a storm chaser may not be. If a roofer pressures you to sign anything immediately, it’s a sign you should back away.
How do you avoid storm chasers when hiring a roofer?
In addition to learning how to identify storm chasers, there are also extra steps you can take to avoid them. These six tips will help you find a reputable roofer you can fully trust for your repairs. (Plus, you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money, and hassle in the long run.)
1. Talk to your insurance company first
Your first step in getting your roof repaired is to contact your insurance company. They can send out an estimator who will be able to evaluate the damage and help you begin the claims process.
2. Make sure YOU contact THEM first
Don’t hire the first roofer who comes knocking on your door. The best way to find a roofer is to compare and research all the available options. Make an informed selection and call a roofer you choose for yourself.
3. Build a relationship with a local roofer first
If possible, begin building a relationship with your roofer before severe weather leaves you in need of emergency repairs. This will give you an idea of what it’s like to work with them. You’ll know ahead of time how reliable they are, the quality of their work, and how they resolve problems.
4. Keep your business local
If any problems should arise, you’ll want to have a roofer who is easy to access. A local roofer will be nearby if repairs fail or if you need any future repairs. You should also make sure your local roofer isn’t partnering with out of state contractors.
5. Check their qualifications
Reputable roofing companies will be able to provide proof of their qualifications. A licensed, certified, and insured roofer is your safest bet. Search for reviews and references, check for complaints, and discover how long they’ve been in business.
6. Get a warranty on the repairs
Ask if the roofer what their warranty will cover and what it won’t, who will pay for what, and how long the warranty will be good for. This is another reason why it’s so important to hire a local roofer who will be around to help. If they don’t offer a warranty – run!
Interested in finding a local roofer in South Jersey? You’re welcome to connect with our team at Surf & Turf Roofing. We will be happy to help with all your roofing needs.