What Do Storm Chasers Do?
This Monsoon Season, Beware of the Storm Chaser Repairman! In Phoenix and the valley of the sun, monsoon dust storms, and haboobs are a regular part of our summers. While they can bring rain, cooler temperatures, and impressive visuals, they can also bring home and property damage due to high winds, heavy rains, and hail. When neighborhoods are hit with these types of damages, they are also at risk of being hit again by something much worse – storm chasers. So, what do storm chasers do?
Storm chasers do exactly what their name says. They go from city to city, following storms so they can do repairs in areas overwhelmed by home damage.
Before getting into the details of this article, you must know that there are legitimate, honest storm chasing companies that do great work. However, with the good, there is always the bad, and the industry is saturated with con artists preying on desperate homeowners.
In order to be protected from the dishonest ones, you must educate yourself in order to spot the con artists and beat them at their own game. Dishonest storm chasers prey on your fear and desperation. They do this by canvassing neighborhoods with flyers or knocking on doors with claims of working with insurance companies or government agencies in order to do home repairs at a discount.
Related Topic: Arizona Monsoon Season
How do they do it?
Bad storm chasers will lure you in by offering you a free inspection on the spot. They will go over this “inspection” with you, pointing out how extreme it is. Their goal here is to scare you with a warning about the total loss if another storm rolls into town.
They will then let you know they can schedule you for repair immediately AND give you a discount… but ONLY if you pay them so they can get to work right away.
They may also “guarantee” your insurance company will reimburse you for the work. Sounds great, right?
If you call around you will find their pricing is lower than licensed contractors in your area, and they are able to do the work much faster as the local contractors are inundated with work from the storm. However, their whole goal is making money. Lots of fast money. By doing the least amount of work they have to in order to convince you the work was done. Once they are gone you will find that with that fast service and discount, you got shoddy workmanship, no warranty, and many times incomplete work. And that is if you are LUCKY. If you are unlucky, you have paid them and never saw them again. By the time you figure this out, they will be long gone, leaving you no recourse but to cut your losses and pay a legitimate contractor to complete the repairs on your home.
We all know that we get hit with monsoon storms, dust storms, haboobs, and microbursts. They are a way of life for us and the price we pay for living in this magnificent city. Most of the time we are spared any damage, but the law of averages leads us to believe that it’s only a matter of time before we are faced with damage that needs repair.
Related Topic: 3 Tips For Preventing Damage To Your Roof From Summer Monsoons
Avoid being scammed by storm chasers
The best way to avoid being scammed is to be educated, proactive and prepared. These storm chasers thrive on panic and desperation, so they know exactly what to say to get you to hand over a payment to them on the spot.
They may over-exaggerate the damage to your home, and many times they lead you to believe they were sent by your insurance company and you MUST work with them.
If you do get damaged from a storm and are approached by ANYONE, the best thing you can do is get all of their information and note the key points they have told you. DO NOT give in to pressure to sign anything or give a payment. NO LEGITIMATE COMPANY WILL EVER MAKE YOU DO THIS!!
No matter what they tell you, how much they try to intimidate or scare you, tell them you will not pay or sign anything until you speak with your insurance agent directly. You are not obligated to talk to anyone or give anyone an answer if they are acting on behalf of your insurance company.
Lastly, if you have storm damage, we always recommend you get estimates from three local contractors. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals, check online reviews, look companies up on the Better Business Bureau website, and verify they are a licensed contractor on the Arizona Registrar of Contractor’s website.
If you’re dealing with storm damage and have questions or would like a free estimate that includes a thorough roof evaluation, just give us a call at 602-486-0763.
published on Monday, August 19th, 2019