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Choose a contractor carefully

While not as prevalent in Southwestern Ontario as they are in the West, the severe hailstorm events that struck Alberta this summer have prompted an advisory to all affected homeowners reminding them to be careful of dubious contractors who promise quick repairs.

Some in the insurance industry became aware of the issue after several customers in Alberta tipped the company off about shady contractors approaching them. While on the ground supporting customers following the hailstorms, some have told insurance representatives that they have been approached by contractors going door-to-door to offer repair services with low prices that seem too good to be true.

These unscrupulous individuals also often promise to waive deductibles for the repairs.

To secure work, some contractors promise to waive deductibles and then attempt to bulk up the scope of damages to cover the monies. It is important that homeowners protect themselves against contractors who may be taking advantage of them during such a vulnerable time.

According to industry experts, most fly-by-night contractors employ three tactics:

  • Disaster/hailstorm chasers – These “nomad roofers” quickly show up on homeowners’ doorsteps after any severe weather event. These types of contractors charge a large amount while using inferior quality materials for the repair, and they promise to help close customers’ claims quickly with their insurers. However, they will be nowhere to be found when the homeowner discovers they have a leaky roof.
  • Door-to-door “free” roof inspection – This individual will offer free roof inspection, but might fabricate damage to mimic storm damage, or even show you a photo with roof damage from a different home claiming it is from your property.
  • Unbelievably low bid – A shady roofing contractor could offer a very low bid – far lower than other local contractors. But once the repair job starts, unexpected costs and unforeseen problems may suddenly appear. Contractors employing this tactic might even threaten to remove the old roof or leave it bare if the additional payments are not made.

At DPM Insurance Group, we recommend homeowners always do their research before selecting a contractor for any repairs. Homeowners should be cautious of contractors asking for upfront deposits, and should avoid signing any paperwork until their insurer properly inspects their roof. Homeowners should also get multiple quotes from reputable repair companies before deciding on which to choose.

Source: Insurance Business Canada


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