It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: That hail storm damaged the garage; a lightning strike toppled a tree branch onto the deck; heavy snows caused part of the roof to collapse. Not only must homeowners deal with their insurance company in order to receive assistance in making repairs to their home after a storm, they must also find and hire the right contractor to return the house to its proper state. Unfortunately, during a time when folks need expertise and assistance the most, some unscrupulous contractors take advantage. How do you know if you can trust the contractor to do the job right?
It’s imperative to do some research when hiring a contractor for storm damage, or any other project. The first thing you should do is ask to see their certificate of insurance.
The following are red flags that indicate you should avoid contractors employing these methods to garner your business: contractors who offer their services unsolicited; the contractor arrives in an unmarked van; asks you to sign anything before you hire them; offers to pay your homeowners insurance deductible for discounts or other incentives; request payment before the work begins; or refuses to provide you with a written contract. A reputable contractor does not do any of these things; in fact, it is illegal for a contract to offer to pay your insurance deductible in some states.
Finally, you should always ask for a written agreement that highlights the contractor’s work and your expectations. This contract should also specify some sort of warranty for the work being completed. If the contractor refuses to guarantee their work with a warranty, you should move on to the next candidate.
It is strongly recommended to review your homeowner’s insurance policy any time you must make a claim on it. After a storm has damaged the property, many homeowners find they had significant gaps in coverage or simply a poor insurance policy. Our agents can assist you in finding and comparing several homeowners insurance quotes from a variety of providers, ensuring the policy you purchase will offer the best coverage at the most affordable rates. Don’t wait until the next major storm to protect you and your home with the best insurance available. Contact us today!