Storm chasers are predatory contractors that travel around the country to areas that were hit by bad weather looking for homeowners and insurance companies to exploit. They watch for areas which have hail or wind damage because they know that insurance companies will easily pay for roof replacements in those areas..
Look at the Name
A major giveaway of storm chasers is a generic name, specific to the inclement weather you have recently experienced. Most legitimate roofing companies will have some form of branding attached to the name. Be wary of companies with names like “Number One Roofing Experts” that suddenly show up in your neighborhood. Do your research! In some scenarios, storm chasers will even pay local companies a fee to use their name to mask that they are from out of town. It is always best to perform a quick check on anyone who solicits you at your home.
Check Online Reviews
A legitimate roofing company will have some online presence with reviews on websites like Yelp and Home Advisor. Additionally, check their rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and see how or even if the company has responded to any complaints.
Find Out Where the Main Office is Located
Many times, after a large storm, companies will come into the area from out of state papering neighborhoods with signs and flyers. Look the company up online and see if there are any reviews in your area. If their main office and business are located in another state, they are likely here for a short period of time to get some quick business and move on.
Consider How Long they have Been in Business
Whenever you are choosing a contractor, look at their business history. Many roofing companies fail within the first five years, but their original pitch includes a long-standing workmanship warranty. Unfortunately, when the business folds, it leaves homeowners with workmanship warranties that no longer hold value. If the company was just recently created, be wary of the promises that they make.
Ask to See their License and Certificate of Insurance
Any time you are getting work done on your home, make sure the contractor is licensed and insured to work in the state of Arizona before you sign the contract. You’ll want to make sure their insurance and general liability policy will cover the project being done on your property. Check the ROC website and insure they’re licenses are valid and not expired.
Unfortunately this happens more often than not. But with the right steps and knowledge, you can avoid these scams and save yourself a big, big headache.