How To Avoid The 2 Biggest Mistakes Most Homeowners Make After A Hailstorm
Colorado Springs and El Paso county get a lot of hailstorms and high winds. These storms often cause a great deal of damage to residential roofs.
Unfortunately, after a storm, many people begin to see their neighbors getting their roofs replaced, and they begin to see hundreds of roofers’ signs show up in yards around their house, so they commonly assume that they should call the claims department of their insurance company and ask them to check their roof for hail damage.
This Is The Biggest Mistake Homeowners Make After A Hailstorm
The reason this is a mistake is because your insurance company won’t send out an “inspector” to check your roof. That’s not their job or responsibility. They will send out an adjuster.
The insurance adjuster is there to verify any damage that might be on your house for your insurance claim. When you call your claims department, you automatically have a claim filed on your record.
Some times this works out for the homeowner, and the adjuster finds damage caused by the storm, and your insurance company pays to repair the damage.
Other times, they don’t find any damage on your roof and log the incident as a “no-pay” claim, which is now part of your insurance record.
A good rule-of-thumb for homeowners is, never call in a claim on your property insurance unless you absolutely have to, and you absolutely know you have damage. Your insurance company is not there to make sure your house is undamaged. They’re there to pay for any damage you may have sustained.
After a hailstorm or high winds, to avoid calling in a claim, possibly unnecessarily, before calling your insurance company’s claims department, the best way to avoid a “no-pay” claim on your record is to call a reputable roofing contractor, and ask him to inspect your roof for damage. If you don’t know a roofer to call, the best thing to do is to ask your local insurance agent. Most local agents know roofing companies that they trust to refer to their clients. Even then, however, you must exercise caution. Recently, here in Colorado Springs, an elderly lady was referred to a roofer by her insurance agent, and she hired that contractor. Unfortunately, the contractor, took her insurance company’s deposit check and she never heard from him again!
Do your research on any company before hiring a contractor.
If you don’t have a local insurance agent, ask your friends and family. Talk to your co-workers. It’s very likely that many of the people you know have had their roofs replaced since 2008 in El Paso county, and they’ll be able to tell you who did a good job, and who didn’t.
Avoid calling a company just because they have signs in the yards in your neighborhood. That doesn’t guarantee that the company is a good one. It may just indicate that they have good salemen.
If a company has signs in your neighborhood, ask the homeowners about their experience with the roofer before you call.
Just because you have a roofer referred to you, also doesn’t ensure that you’ll be taken care of the way you want to be, or that the contractor is a good one. For information on how to choose a good roofing contractor, read our other Free Report: “The 5 Things Every Homeowner In Colorado Springs Should Look For In A Roofer BEFORE Hiring One”
The 2nd Biggest Mistake Homeowners Make After A Hailstorm
After a major storm, it seems like the door-to-door roofing salesmen come out in armies in Colorado Springs. One customer of mine told me that on one Saturday morning in 2012, after the June hailstorms, he was approached by 5 roofing companies just while he was mowing his front lawn.
Oftentimes, these companies are what are referred to as “storm-chasers” – companies which have come into town just to take advantage of the recent hail or wind damage, and the money from the insurance claims that come with it.
Some of these companies leave after the season, and some of them hang around for a few years.
The Colorado State Attorney General strongly recommends that homeowners never let someone in, or on their house who just comes knocking on your door after a storm.
When a door-to-door roofing salesman comes to your door, he’ll be offering to inspect your roof for free. The reason you should be wary of these roofers is because this is the primary method that scammers and storm-chasers operate.
When they come to your door, they often try to pressure you into letting them on your roof. Since they have a certain level of anonymity at this point, they don’t want to give you the time you need to think about it, discuss it, and do your research on their company. They’re taking advantage of the fact that you’re trusting a stranger at your door. Their goal is to get you to allow them to do the inspection, and oftentimes, they’ll purposely schedule it for a time that you’re not home.
Another favorite tactic of the scammers and storm-chasers is to ask you to sign a paper. They may even use high-pressure to coerce you into signing it. Many people believe that they’re simply signing a consent form to allow the roofer onto their house, when, in fact, they’re signing the roofer’s contract, binding the homeowner into using that roofer if the insurance company accepts the claim. If you try to back out of the agreement, they may even threaten to sue you to intimidate you into letting them have the sale.
This Is Why Roofers In Colorado Springs Have A Bad Reputation!
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Not all roofing contractors that go door-to-door operate like this, however, the reason you should be cautious is because these are the favorite tactics of the scammers, who nearly ALWAYS go door-to-door.
Our recommendations are:
- If there are hailstorms or high winds in your area, don’t call your insurance company’s claims department. Call a roofing contractor you know you can trust.
- If you don’t know a roofing contractor, call your local insurance agent to ask for a recommendation.
- If you don’t have a local agent, ask your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors, church-members, etc. for their recommendations.
- Don’t ever let a door-to-door salesman in or on your house to do a “free inspection.”
- If you do let a door-to-door salesman on your house, never sign anything until you’ve had a chance to do your research.
- For information on how to choose a good roofing contractor, read our Free Report, “The 5 Things Every Homeowner In Colorado Springs Should Look For In A Roofer BEFORE Hiring One”