BBB of Middle TN and Southern KY Warns: Beware of “Storm Chasers” after a natural disaster
After a storm, contractors take advantage of consumers who face uncertainty. BBB is warning homeowners affected by natural disasters to beware of “storm chasers” and out-of-town contractors soliciting business. Although not all storm chasers are scammers, they may lack the proper licensing for your area, offer quick fixes, or make big promises they can’t deliver.
” As residents deal with broken fences, damaged roofs and uprooted trees, we want to ensure they are equipped with information before hiring a contractor,” said Robyn Householder, President & CEO of Better Business Bureau serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. “Our first suggestion is for consumers to visit BBB.org, to find a trusted business that BBB has already vetted.”
BBB offers suggestions on four things every homeowner should do after a storm. First, contact your insurance company to ask about your policy coverage and specific filing requirements. Your insurance company may have a list of recommended contractors.
Next, resist high-pressure sales. Some storm chasers use tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot. Be proactive in selecting a contractor and not reactive to sales calls on the phone or door-to-door pitches.
Also, be especially careful of door-to-door contractors. Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if salespeople go door-to-door. Ask for identification. Check their vehicle for a business name, phone number, and license plates for your state or province.
Finally, don’t sign over insurance checks to contractors. Get an invoice from the contractor and pay them directly (preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment). Don’t sign any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. If you have questions, contact your insurance company or agent.
“We want all Middle TN and Southern KY residents to know they are not alone, said Robyn Householder, President & CEO of BBB serving Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky.”
Please send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call 615-242-4222 and we will assist in any way we can.