WHAT ARE STORM CHASERS?
Of the many roofing concerns in our industry, the out-of-town storm chasers are the most publicised, and people all across the Bluegrass fall victim to them. These storm chasers will canvas an area hit by hail or wind damage and look for unsuspecting homeowners. They pass out leaflets and even show up unannounced, offering free inspections. They understand how the insurance companies work and figure out how much it will cost to put on a cheap roof. The homeowner (our neighbours) get taken advantage of because the storm chaser does the bare minimum to replace their roof, and doesn’t address any of the other storm damage problems that are required to restore the roof to its original condition. Our neighbours are then left with a poorly installed roof, and the fraudulent company that was once so ready to help has vanished. Many times these roofs only last 5 to 7 years and then an honourable company like Empire Restoration has to tell the homeowner that their roof needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any way for these companies to be held accountable, because they are gone by the time a problem arises.
HOW CAN YOU TELL?
They will usually:
- Go from house to house and try to get you to sign a work-order immediately.
- Mail you cards in the mail or tape them to your mailbox.
- Use high pressure sales tactics.
- Offer you some “Free Roof” or “Free Siding” or offer a way around paying a deductible (this is insurance fraud!)
- Have out-of-state license plates or driver's license (and YES! you can & should ask to see a driver's license to verify identity.)
- Are unable to produce recent, local references (from before the storm date)
- Are unlisted, have unsatisfactory ratings or have complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.
- Change their companies name frequently to continue hiding from the scams they are part of.