Navigating Post-Storm Repairs: Avoiding Contractor Scams and Deductible Fraud

Protecting Your Home After the Storm: Avoid Storm Chasers and Contractor Scams

Following the recent severe tornadoes in our region, many homeowners are urgently seeking repairs. This rush creates an opportunity for both legitimate and opportunistic contractors. It’s essential to understand the risks posed by storm chasers and other common contractor scams. This guide will help you identify and avoid potential pitfalls and make informed decisions.


Recent Tornado Incidents and the Rise of Storm Chasers

In the wake of devastating storms, "storm chasers" often appear offering quick fixes. While some may provide legitimate services, many are unlicensed, uninsured, and aim to exploit the urgency of the situation through high-pressure sales tactics or outright fraud.

How to Protect Yourself from Storm Chasers

1. Verify Credentials: Always ensure the contractor is licensed and insured in your area. Ask for references and verify them.

2. Seek Local Contractors: Choose businesses like Taylor Exteriors and Construction, which have a vested interest in community welfare and recovery.

3. Read Contracts Thoroughly: Make sure all terms are clear and in writing before agreeing to any work.

5. Avoid Large Upfront Payments: It's safer to agree to a payment schedule that corresponds with the delivery of materials or completion of milestones.

Understanding Contractor Scams and Deductible Fraud

Be aware of the following common contractor scams which can also surface after severe weather events:

1. The Unsolicited Contractor

- What They Say: "I was just passing through your neighborhood and noticed you need some repairs."

- What It Means: They might be trying to pressure you into making a hasty and often unnecessary decision.

- What to Do: Conduct thorough research and get multiple bids before making any decisions.

2. Pressure to Sign Immediately

- What They Say: "This special price is only available today."

- What It Means: High-pressure sales tactics to make you commit without proper consideration.

- What to Do: Reputable contractors will allow you time to decide. If the deal is good today, it should still be good tomorrow.

3. Upfront Payment Demands

- What They Say: "I need money upfront to purchase materials."
- What It Means: Potential financial instability or fraudulent intentions.
- What to Do: Consider paying the supplier directly or agree to a payment schedule that starts after some work is completed.

4. Vague Timelines and Dubious Promises

- What They Say: "My schedule is busy, but I’ll prioritize your project soon."
- What It Means: They may be overcommitting and under delivering.
- What to Do: Ensure specific start and completion dates are written into the contract, along with penalties for missed deadlines.

Deductible Fraud Alert

Beware of contractors who offer to waive or discount your insurance deductible, which is illegal and constitutes insurance fraud. This usually involves falsifying invoices to the insurer, leading to severe legal consequences for both parties involved.

The aftermath of a tornado is a vulnerable time for homeowners. By staying vigilant and informed, you can protect your property from further damage by unscrupulous contractors. Choose reputable, local contractors who provide clear, written agreements and deliver quality work without exploiting your situation.

If you’re facing storm damage, contact Taylor Exteriors and Construction for reliable and honest service. We ensure all practices comply with local laws and deliver results that help you rebuild safely and efficiently. Let us help you restore your peace of mind.

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