We’ve all heard the stories of the sweet elderly couple down the road who got confused and were scammed out of thousands of dollars from a fly-by-night contractor. The scary thing is that this is happening more often than you know and we want to help keep you and you’re family safe. There are usually three ways homeowners can get scammed by less than credible roofing or restoration companies:
- A deductible theft: a “contractor” goes in to an obviously storm affected area and poses as a real contractor to the homeowner, saying he needs the deductible upfront. Meanwhile, this scam artist never had any intention of doing the work in the first place, only to get your detectable and run. The exact situation just happened to an elderly woman in Marion, Ohio and it breaks our heart every time.
- Posing as a contractor: this “contractor” seems legitimate at first and may even start work. But after the insurance company releases the first portion of the insurance check to the company, they never come back. Instead, running away with your money. Unfortunately, this recently happened to a home owner in Mineral City who had to vacate their home following a tornado. The “contractor” left with the first insurance check to “rent some equipment” and has not been back and attempts to contact them via phone have failed.
- Unqualified work: a seemingly qualified firm takes on jobs they don’t have the experience or knowledge to access, complete or guarantee. They sub contract the jobs for cheap to unqualified people or do a questionable job themselves and pocket the profit from your insurance money. Chances are this person will skip town or go out of business and the homeowner is stuck with no more insurance money and a roof that isn’t done properly. Often times they will not return calls for repair or change their number, so they cannot be found to repair shoddy work.
Here are some tips to keep you, your family and your home safe:
1. Make a note of the company, license plate number and state in case anything should go wrong- do your research
2. Check with the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and other accrediting organizations
3. Thoroughly investigate the contractor, and be sure to use a company that has extensive experience working with insurance companies
Make sure the renovation/restoration contractor is present when the adjuster from the insurance company inspects your property. A qualified company will thoroughly inspect your damage in advance and will be present, as your advocate, during the insurance adjuster inspection. Remember, your home is most likely one of your largest investments. Be selective, hire professionals, trust family and friends for referrals, but don’t let a weekend warrior tackle an important project on your home. Any money you save initially with “cheap” contractors or unqualified help will cost you in the long run with multiple repairs and/or lack of value added to your dwelling.
Ohio Restoration Solutions prides ourselves on not doing work any further than 45 minutes from either office (Marion and Navarre, Ohio) to ensure our knowledge of the area, storm and local insurance agents. We are members of the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce, Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce, Marion Area Chamber of Commerce and Wooster Area Chamber of Commerce and pride ourselves on our A rating with the Better Business Bureau! Check out our website and facebook page for samples of our work and to see why our customers choose us!
ORS is here to stay and here for you! Your local storm claim specialists!