It's inevitable. After a storm hits you are going to be bombarded by "roofers" offering to help. They are going to show up on your doorstep, usually right after a major storm hits, and offer you a "free" roof inspection. But you must be on your guard.
These so-called "roofers" (or what we like to call a "Chuck-In-A-Truck" or "Ninjas") may try to use high-pressure sales tactics or a "we are your friend" approach in attempt to get you to sign an "authorization form." The explanations that they give are various, but they are all geared to one end… they want to lull you into a false sense of security so that you will sign the authorization form.
WARNING: 'Authorization forms' are contracts.
In our experience, these "Ninja's" often tell homeowners that it is a form to help them so that they can contact the homeowners’ insurance company with your permission. Or that they need your “authorization” to conduct an inspection of the home to look for storm damage.
The reality is this document is a formal contract. When you sign it, it obligates you, the homeowner, to allow the contractor to do whatever he wants. Including any repair work that your insurance company agrees to cover, for a price that the contractor and the insurance company agree on—and on which you had no input.
Here is a commentary right from one State Attorney General's Office;
"The problem with signing these documents is that if a homeowner decides not to use that contractor, the contract probably contains small print (usually on the back of the document) that says that if a homeowner cancels the contract after three business days, they will owe the contractor a percentage (usually from 15 to 50 percent) of the total claim settlement. This is why it is so important to do the homework and check the contractor thoroughly before a decision is made to sign a contract.”
Here are some additional tips from the Attorney General that you should know:
Avoid contractors that:
After a storm hits, most people see the damage and head for their phones to call their insurance company. This is the absolute worst thing that you can do.
The reality is that after a big storm—depending on the severity—insurance companies will be facing millions (if not billions) of dollars in claims. This is due in large part to the actual damages suffered by homeowners, but also to the damage being done by the “Chuck-In-A-Truck” storm chasers. It's unfortunate, but they are notorious for doing shoddy repairs and committing outright fraud. A simple internet search proves the validity of that statement.
As a result, insurance agencies are out to protect themselves. Insurance companies want to minimize their losses as much as possible and thus the claims adjuster arrives on scene. An insurance claims adjuster is an individual, working for the insurance company, that is going to try and nickel and dime your policy claim to death.
The Problem: You are going to be hard pressed to argue and justify your roofing or damage claim because you don’t have the knowledge, skills, or experience.
Please call Fortenberry Roofing after a storm hits. We are a locally owned and operated company that has been serving West Texas homeowners for over 20 years. We're also experts at helping you negotiate through the complex area of roofing insurance claims.