Do you need repairs on your home after a severe storm hit your area?
Certain home insurance companies will offer recommendations for the contractors they prefer to work with. On the other hand, you’re often allowed to choose a contractor for yourself. You just have to make sure they meet certain criteria and provide a legitimate, reasonable estimate.
Hiring a contractor to complete repairs on your home after a wicked storm may seem like an easy matter. Still, you’d be surprised to know how many homeowners get it wrong — either by hiring an illegitimate, unlicensed, or uninsured contractor or by paying too much for unapproved work.
To help you avoid learning this lesson the hard way, we’ve compiled a guide to help you hire the right contractor for your home repairs after a storm.
Recovering After a Storm
Before we delve into what a good contractor should look like, let’s talk about what you should do in the immediate aftermath of a terrible storm.
First, carefully and safely assess the damage done to your home by photographing it or taking video. This will be useful later on so that your insurance adjuster can see what your home looked like right after the storm. They probably won’t be able to come out to your property for an in-person estimate for at least a day or two.
Next, remember that by contract, you are responsible for preventing any additional damage. In other words, you must fix immediate problems right away:
- Take care of holes in your roof or home exterior so that rain and critters can’t get in.
- Call the authorities and your power company to report any down power lines.
- Pick up any broken glass or other debris that may cause harm to someone or further damage to your home or property.
Finally, give your insurance agent a phone call so that you can report the damage right away. The claims process must be started as soon as possible.
While you’re on the phone with them, double check the extent of your coverage. Remember that flooding insurance is sold separately, so it’s rarely covered under general homeowners policies. On the other hand, almost all home policies will protect you from wind damage.
What to Look for in a Home Repair Contractor
Again, it is important that you hire a legitimate and respectable contractor from your local area when you need repairs after a severe storm in Rolling Meadows. While we’d like to think that all contractors are respectable and honest, this isn’t necessarily the case.
“Storm chasers” can typically be found in areas where there has been mass destruction after a bad storm. This goes for places where there have been hurricanes and tornadoes. But it also goes for areas where bad summer storms have hit.
The storm chaser contractors will arrive at your door, promising a job well-done on your much-needed repairs. All you have to do is provide upfront payment. The price is usually lower than you expect it to be too.
In the end, scammers like storm chasers are not actually properly equipped with the right tools and skills to complete your repairs. They aren’t licensed or insured.
In some cases, they won’t finish (or even start) your repairs. Instead, they’ll be out of town in no time. You’ll probably never hear from them again.
To avoid hiring a scammer, always look for the following in a contractor:
- Proof of a license
- Proof of insurance
- A local office/headquarters
- Good references
- Written estimates
Get Answers to Your Storm Damage Insurance Questions
At AFI Insurance, we understand that the claims process can be hard to understand and navigate after a severe storm. Fortunately, our experienced and knowledgeable agents are here to help.
Call us today, or stop into our office to sit down with an agent and get the answers you need.