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Watch out for “Storm Chasers” after Severe Weather

Watch out for “Storm Chasers” after Severe Weather

By John Riggins

 

 

 

Press Release: Contact President/CEO: John Riggins   (325) 691-1533 (office) Start with Trust®   jriggins@abilene.bbb.org                                www.bbb.org/abilene

05/20/19 Recently the Big Country has had some bouts with severe weather and local homeowners may be finding themselves having to deal with damages from hail, high wind, and lightning. Subsequently, this is also the time for, storm chasers, unethical contractors to come out and take advantage of this situation by attempting to con people out of their property repair funds. It’s important to remember to do thorough research about a contractor before you sign any contract by visiting our website at www.bbb.org. Never pay full price up front for a project before the work has even started. The Abilene BBB offers the following tips for those homeowners of the Big Country with storm damage to help them protect their money and property.

Contact the Insurance Company: Ask about policy coverage and what requirements are need to file your claim. Save all receipts, including food, temporary lodging, or other incurred expenses that may be covered under your policy.

Do the Research: If your insurance company has a list of recommended contractors, research the company on www.bbb.org and look for a BBB seal. An accredited business meets eight standards for trust including advertising honestly, telling the truth, and being transparent. it is also a good practice to check the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to make sure the type of work the contractor will be doing requires a license at www.tdlr.texas.gov . You may also find it helpful to get references from friends and family members.

Be Especially Careful of Door-to-Door Contractors: Many cities usually require a solicitation permit for sales representatives to go door-to-door. Ask for identification, check their vehicle for a business name, take down the license plate number, and ask for a contact phone number.

Do Not Sign Over Insurance Checks to Contractors: Do not sign any documents that give any rights to the insurance claims. Ask for an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly. It’s preferred to pay with a credit card which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment. Should you have any questions about payment, contact your insurance company directly.

Be Cautions regarding Damages You Can’t See: Most contractors abide by the law, however, be careful allowing someone to inspect the roof and other areas of the house. Unethical contractors, can create damage to get work or add to your bill. Be wary of attics, crawl spaces, ducts, and other places that are typically hard to reach or see by most homeowners.

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