Storm chasers are contractors or companies that trail severe weather across the country, soliciting repair and replacement of roofs damaged by hail and wind. They normally collect homeowners’ insurance claim benefits for their services, which have a reputation for shoddiness, before moving to the next storm site. Here in North Texas, violent thunderstorms are part of the spring weather menu. When a damaging storm strikes, storm chasers inevitably follow, usually going door-to-door in effected neighborhoods.
Generally speaking a storm chaser will initially ask a homeowner to sign a contract which allows them to deal directly with the homeowner’s insurance company. Signing this document may leave the homeowners with little recourse and may take away any rights they have regarding their roof repair or replacement. They could also lose any say pertaining to materials, allowing shortcuts in the repair, and the insurance settlement could legally belong to the storm chaser, even is the work is sub-standard or not finished. Plus, warranty work, should an issue arise, is almost impossible to obtain since these companies are gone soon after the work is done.
Perhaps worse is the damage done to the local economy by storm chasers. Their business model goes directly after local customers but they take work from local contractors. In addition, by using reliable local contractors like DK Haney Roofing in Fort Worth, the amounts paid for roof repairs stay in the community by way of wages and taxes that support other local businesses, schools and infrastructure.
How to spot a storm chaser
Storm chasers usually:
- Come door -o-door and try to get customer to sign contract immediately
- Use high-pressure tactics
- Offer homeowner a free roof or offer a way around paying your deductible (this is insurance fraud.)
- Have out-of-state license plates or drivers license.
- Have no recent, local references
- Have no local vendor references
- Have no proof of manufacturer certifications
- Cannot produce a and certificate of insurance
- Are unlisted, have unsatisfactory ratings or have complaints filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.