Avoiding Storm Repair Scams

(UnitedHeadlines.com) – The end of 2023 has seen powerful storms wreak havoc on the East Coast from Florida to Maine and across the country, leaving damage in its path. With storms, such as the tornado in Clarksville, Tennessee, causing damage to many homes, the Better Business Bureau is offering tips to avoid storm repair scams.

According to a statement from the Better Business Bureau, homeowners should be aware of out-of-town contractors and “storm chasers” that may be looking to take advantage of those whose property sustained damage. While not all “storm chasers” and out-of-town contractors are looking to scam homeowners, the Better Business Bureau suggests making sure a contractor has the proper licensing to operate in the area.

As people start recovering from a storm, those with property damage should be aware of deals that seem too good to be true, President and CEO of Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky Robyn Householder warned.

To protect themselves from scammers, the BBB recommends those with property damage take some of the following steps. The first step should be contacting your insurance company about your policy coverage and saving all receipts for expenses the policy covers. Pictures and videos should be taken of any property damage.

Anyone with property damage should resist hiring a contractor on the spot and instead research various contractors. The Better Business Bureau suggests researching potential contractors by going to BBB.org, or through state and local agencies responsible for licensing contractors and recommendations from family and friends. Make sure to check for the business name and ask for the identification of any door-to-door solicitors.

Everything should be in writing and explained clearly in a contract from the contractor. The contract should include a complete description of all the services to be performed by the contractor and should include any verbal agreements.

The Better Business Bureau also recommends insurance checks not be signed directly to a contractor. Instead, get an invoice and pay using a credit card that offers additional fraud protection.

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