Roofing Storm Chasers?
If you’re one of the movie buffs out there, then you’ve probably come across the film Twister, where the 1996 film gave spectators a good peak on what storm chasers actually do. Though unlike the protagonists in the film, roofing storm chasers are not in pursuit of scientific research or the thrill of the natural spectacle, instead are unscrupulous people who try to hawk their roofing contractor services to homeowners. As we discuss below not all roofers should be put in a bad light, so do your research, ask family and friends. But always look first at a locally owned roofing company before considering out of state companies.
Storm chasers are also called hail chasers or roofing gypsies.
But despite the negative notion of roofing storm chasers as a dodgy scheme, a few legitimate companies do offer services honest and fair roof contracting business. It all goes down on how to spot the which is which.
Why SOME Storm Chasers CAN be a Scam?
First of all, not all storm chasers are scammers, as we’ve previously stated, but because of the sheer number of complaints of unethical practices, roofing storm chasers are placed in a bad light.
Storm chasers are driven by fast profit alone, unlike certified roofing contractors who are not only for the income but are passionate about their profession and trade. This means fraudulent storm chasers will go to great lengths to get money out of you as boldly as creating damage on your roof during a so-called “surprise inspection” (more of an attack).
Other unethical practices are filing inflated or orchestrated damages. When you are pressured to sign a contract with them, you’re waving the rights of your insurance claims to these storm chasers.
After a BIG storm with wind or hail, most property owners will file claims with their insurance companies for the damage done. Some individuals or organizations see this as an opportunity to file claims that are either inflated or completely fabricated to profit.
Possible Scammer Alert!
They Come Out Suddenly from Nowhere.
Just like the adventurous version of storm chasers, these sketchy roofers are well equipped with satellite technology to monitor areas where storms or other natural calamities occur. So, you’ve probably had them knocking on your door within hours of a storm’s passing.
They’re not From Your Side of Town.
If they’re not based on your state, this should be a huge red flag to you. Other than that, reputable roof repair contractors are licensed to practice in your area. A legitimate contractor will know building codes and permits needed in your state.
Out of the state license plates
No local references
Unable to produce local suppliers
It is best to get a locally established contractor who can provide references of work in your city or region.
They Claim Your Insurance Sent Them.
They’ll generally start by introducing themselves as inspectors sent by your insurance company, which is of course can be suspicious. Most legitimate insurance companies send you a notice before sending in any personnel for assessment on your property. So, it’s best to call your insurance company right there and then before signing off any contract or letting them climb up your roof.
They’re Pressing You Hard.
Persistence is a normal and sometimes even admirable trait for salesmen, but if it goes beyond convincing and into pestering, then its high time to notify authorities. These fraudulent storm chasers will insist on taking a look at your roof’s damage or pressure you to sign off contracts with highfaluting jargon. Be careful and stand your ground.
They Prefer Cash or Check Upfront
After they’ve tricked you into signing up a contract, now is the payment time. They’ll insist you to pay in cash or in check, and what’s worse? The, have you shell out money for a large down payment. Be assertive in paying in installments instead and never pay out in full until you’re finally satisfied with the work done. There are instances where these opportunists have run away from their clients and with the cash in tow.
They Use Multiple Company Names.
If the company name placed on the certificate of insurance is different from that of their identification information, then stop them immediately. For legitimate companies they will produce a Certificate of Liability or Workers Compensation where requirements can vary from state to state. Always cross check their licenses and identification cards to proper authorities to validate their authenticity.
They Lack or Have No Social Media Presence
Most businesses already have social media accounts for the convenience of online marketing and communication. It can be suspicious for a legitimate and experienced company to lack or have no social media presence. Weird email addresses and names.
Yet, if they have a tech savvy on their side and since building a website today is relatively easy. Thanks to free templates that don’t need much coding, fraudulent storm chasers may manage to build their own website to serve as a forefront. To spot a not, it is best to see how complete their website is. There’s should be contact details (check phone if its working), reviews from past clients, and pictures of past projects. Most certified roofing contractors and insurance agents post their certification or professional number on their websites.
Why Getting a Reputable Contractor Instead?
Protection and getting most out of your investment are the primary reasons why a licensed roofing contractor is a sensible choice compared to roofing storm chasers.
It may be a convenience to have a readily available and eager storm chaser right on your property just moments after a destructive calamity, but in the long run you’ll end up losing more than you realize.
Benefits Of a LOCAL Trusted Roofing Contractor
Professional – most roofing contractors don’t only do their work for a living, as most certified roofing contractors enjoy and love their profession. With this, you know you’ll get excellent workmanship and easy flow of communication with your contractor.
Local Folks – The closer a contractor lives in your home, the better, but this shouldn’t be your only reason of course. Together with other desirable qualities, having a contractor close to the site makes them knowledgeable on the local building codes and required permits.
Insured and Warrantied – Certified roofers always start with a contract before starting any work on your roof. This way, you are protected for being liable for any additional costs incurred due to accidents or worker damage in your property. As you and the contractor are protected from any illegal acts, the contract also serves as a legal document for any insurance claims.
Competitive Pricing– Experienced contractors will give you a reasonable price with just the right amount of profit on their side. As the competition among these legitimate roofers can be tight, they’ll usually give you a good price.
Expert Consultant – Not only will you get legitimate advice on codes and requirements needed for the project, but you can also discuss to your contractor on the best roofing solution that will fit your timeframe and available budget.
Excellent Workmanship – Again, professional roofing contractors, are passionate about their trade, and because they have enough experience, employ the best trained roofers in the area, and utilize the latest roofing techniques and tools, you’ll expect to get an excellent result from your reputable contractor.
Faster Turnaround Time – Legitimate roofers mostly would like to finish the project as efficient as possible but without sacrificing quality. This is because the more projects they have and with a great referral or review from you, they are more likely to get more clients. To oversee the schedule most roofing companies have a project manager to oversee the work and make sure to be on schedule.
Avoid Additional Cost and Headaches – Like any building project, big or small, either for new construction or renovation and repairs, the process can be tedious. With a reputable roofing company, you are sure to have a smooth flow of work and a hassle-free roofing project.
It may not be every day that you get a tempting offer from a stranger that offers you fast and cheap roofing repairs, but just like buying a cheap product online, you’ll likely to end up getting your money’s worth. Why risk your investment on cheap shots, when you can get the legitimate roofing contractor in your area. It may seem to cost you more, but the benefits are way beyond of having a roofing chaser around.
Tip: Get referrals from colleagues, friends, and family who might have a contractor in mind that have already worked in their own properties.