Roof Damage And Common Storm Damage Scams

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While some hail damage may be obvious, you can’t always trust that an unknown person showing up to your home claiming to be a reputable roofing contractor has your best interests in mind.

The size and density of a hailstone will determine the seriousness of damage you’ll find after a storm. While some hailstorms can trigger extreme damage to your car and home, others can leave little bit to no harm at all.

If you’ve just recently battled a hailstorm, here is what you need to know about hail, roof damage, homeowners insurance and the typical types of scams.

WHAT SHOULD I DO AFTER A HAILSTORM?

When the storm has actually passed and it’s safe to go outside, check any damage that might have struck your vehicle or home. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) suggests contacting your insurance agent right away if you think you may have hail damage. Your agent understands the ins and outs of your specific policy and can help you identify whether you must file a claim to help cover the expense of repairs.

To help your agent, be sure to make note of the date and timeframe the storm took place and take photos that can help support your claim.

While some damage can be easy to spot, you may not always have the ability to see the damage hail has actually done to your roof.

An insurance adjuster understands the distinction between roof damage from hail versus regular wear and tear. We recommend letting a qualified and trusted professional up on your roof to look for any potential problems.

WHAT IS HAIL FRAUD?

Having to handle weather damage is bad enough. Unfortunately, there can also be fraudulent roofers that emerge after a storm, sometimes called “storm chasers.”

They typically appear quickly after a storm and claim that your roof has actually been seriously damaged by wind and hail. Lots of “storm-chasing” contractors are transients, walking around the country following recent storm activity to increase their opportunity of landing a sale.

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF HAIL FRAUD?

Storm chasers may point out pre-existing damage, create their own damage, or say that there is damage when there isn’t. Here are some signs that should make you pause:

“Free” inspection:

An intelligent person once said, nothing good in life is free. While trustworthy contractors might offer totally free inspections without any strings attached, be cautious that some scammers might utilize this strategy to get on your roof and explain damage that isn’t there. Worse, some might damage an area of the roof themselves and blame the storm.

They pressure you:

Those in the con business often push you to make a quick choice during a hard or difficult time. Give yourself time to contact your insurance agent and make the right decision.

The agreement has blanks:

Your agreement needs to be detailed and include an estimate on expense, work schedules, payment schedules, listed contractors and more.

Upfront payment:

While it’s affordable for any contractor to request for a down payment, deceitful contractors frequently demand all or a big amount of the payment upfront. Often, they’ll take your money and dash after carrying out shoddy work, or no work at all. Trustworthy contractors will typically arrange a payment schedule that works best with your schedule.

If you do discover damage to your roof or other areas after a storm, a credible roofing contractor will work with your insurance provider to help fix the damage.