Protect yourself against Indiana storm chasers
State and Hancock County authorities say dozens of Indiana residents lost nearly $300,000 combined after a Fishers roofing company allegedly took large deposits for storm repairs, but never did any work.
Before the next big storm rolls through, read these five tips to protect yourself from being duped by a potential storm chaser:
Get it in writing
Request a written contract before allowing any work to be performed or making any payments. For all home improvement jobs over $150, Indiana law requires contractors to provide a written contract.
Read the fine print
Before signing the contract, make certain it includes the cost, payment schedule, description of work, estimated start and completion dates, contractor’s contact information and contractor’s signature.
Don’t pay too much upfront
Do not pay more than one-third of the total cost of the project as a down payment. Remaining payments should be tied to completion of specified amounts of work.
Avoid unsolicited offers
If a contractor knocks on your door after a storm and offers to inspect your roof for damage, don’t just take their word for it. Take the time to do your research, and get a second opinion.
Take care with insurance
Don’t sign insurance claim checks directly over to contractors, and be wary of anyone who offers to cover your deductible.
Also, verify the contractor carries his own liability and workers’ compensation insurance before you hire.