When your home is damaged in a storm, one of the first things you are likely to do is call someone to inspect the damage and try and get it fixed as soon as possible. There are a lot of good and qualified contractors in the area. However, there are also contractors that you wouldn’t want to work with. Here are a few tips to help you steer clear of shady contractors!
- Do your homework!A lot of disreputable companies send salespeople door to door after storms in areas where damage has occurred. Don’t just go with the first person to try and sell you their services, make sure you research!
- Contractors can NOT pay insurance deductibles.
Although contractors can work with your insurance company to make sure you pay the least amount for your deductible, it is against state law for them to offer to pay your deductible or offer any sort of compensation for their business.
- Read carefully before you sign anything!
Some contractors will ask you to sign an “authorization form” so they can contact your insurance and look for damage done to your home. As innocent as it sounds, an “authorization form” is a contract. Signing it puts you under obligation to either use that contractor or pay them a certain percentage of the claim if you choose to go with another company.
- Your Right to Cancel
If you did not approach the company you’ve signed a contract with, you may have 3 days to cancel the contract after signing it. You also may be able to cancel your contract if your insurance denies your claim for repairs.
- Check the history!
Before signing anything, make sure you find out:
– If the contractor is licensed
– If they have been involved in any lawsuits or judgments.
– If you hire an unlicensed contractor, you will not be able to take advantage of the Contractor Recovery Fund, which was made to compensate consumers after suffering financial loss and obtaining a civil judgment against a licensed contractor in the event of dishonest practice, poorly or incorrectly done work, or failure to perform.
- Avoid contractors who:
– Are offering to do a job for an unreasonably low price
– Offer to pay your deductible or offer any other type of compensation
– Refuse to provide you with access to a reference
– Use high-pressure sales tactics.
Following these tips can help you avoid unnecessary struggle and stress. You can usually trust your gut with things like this. If there are red flags raised, don’t ignore them! If you aren’t sure of a contractor, you can always obtain their license number and run it through the Department of Labor and Industry.
They will be able to give you information on the status of the license, and if there have been any lawsuits or civil judgments against the company. These tips will help you avoid shady contractors and lead you to one you can trust.