Taking Action: Beware of ‘Storm Chasing’ Contractors


(Photo: Al Whitaker/WHNT News 19)

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) --  Insurance agents call them 'storm chasers,' but they're not the ones documenting the severe weather as it hits an area. They're repair companies that take advantage of those recovering from the devastation.

"There are a lot of people who do come and prey on unsuspecting people who are in a bad place in their life and need help and need it quick," said Rebekah McKinney with Watson McKinney, LLP in Huntsville. 

Joe Demos, a State Farm agent, told WHNT News 19 you need to be aware of who you're dealing with when it comes to work on your home or business. "Folks who follow storms around looking for work typically are not going to be insured or licensed in any one particular state," he said.

Demos said it's crucial that you find a contractor that is reputable and one that you trust to work on your storm-damaged property. "If someone shows up in your neighborhood wanting to do work, you want to know that they're licensed, insured, that they're able to do business in our county and in our town and that they're going to be around to guarantee their work," he said.

"You might think they're telling you the truth but until you see it on paper sometimes, its not the truth," agreed McKinney.

Check with your friends and neighbors. Call the Better Business Bureau of North Alabama or the Roofing Contractor Association. Just when you least expect it, they'll pounce.

"That has been an issue with contractors that blow into town and blow right back out, they're simply not there when your roof leaks a year later," said Demos.

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