Many times when we think of storm chasers, we think of those who go out and chase storms. However, the Idaho Department of Insurance says there's another kind of storm chaser. One they suspect will be targeting you and your roof this spring after this year's historic snowfall. These roofers travel around the country following storms and looking to exploit any homeowner.
There are several things you can do to protect yourself. Make sure to do your research.
"They can check with the Better Business Bureau to see if they've had any complaints on that particular contractor," Elaine Mellon with the Department of Insurance said.
If you do suspect your roof may have received some damage this past winter, make sure to check your insurance policy and see what is and isn't covered.
"No roofing contractor should be advising you on your insurance policy," Mellon said.
A homeowner can also have their insurance company come out and take a look.
Many times these storm chasers will show up looking for homeowners in need of repairs. They'll pass our flyers and even show up to your door unannounced.
Josh and Kimberly Adams with Paradigm Roofing in Boise say door knocking isn't only a common practice for storm chasers, but for any company. They advise not only doing your research through the Better Business Bureau, but also checking out the company on the secretary of state's website.
"Verification of licensing with the state, and even if they are licensed in another state, make sure they're able to be doing work in your state," Kimberly Adams said.
If the contractor does have a license, also double check to make sure they have insurance, and ask if you can see it.
"It should be common communication and common conversation for any contractor if you say 'hey I need your general liability insurance.' It should come easy for them," Adams said.
If the contractor is hesitant, then you should be hesitant.
The contractor's insurance certificate should also include workman's compensation.
"If they are hurt on your property this is what covers that worker from not having liability towards you as a homeowner," Josh Adams said.
In the end, it's important that you take a step back, take your time, and never sign anything upfront.
"I encourage consumers to take time. Do their research. Research the contractor, talk with their insurance agency," Mellon said.