Storm Damage Repair/Restoration
The following list of tips were created by the BBB, with the input of representatives from the storm damage repair industry, to assist consumers in making wise buying decisions.
1. Be aware that anything you sign is a contract. Read carefully or avoid signing an "estimate" or "authorization" form before you have actually decided to hire a particular contractor. Pay special attention to any details in bold, that are underlined or that you need to initial.
2. Ask your contractor for references. Check with the Better Business Bureau at www.thefirstbbb.org to read a company's reliability report.
3. Ask for proof of liability and workers compensation insurance and well as a license to do work in Minnesota. A contractor should be responsible for obtaining all necessary permits, not you.
4. Consumers may or may not be entitled to a re-inspection if their initial storm damage claim is denied. Factors taken into consideration may include the quality of the original report and the photos from the original inspection. You may want to ask your contractor to assist in asking for a re-inspection.
5. Some contractors specialize in storm damage repair. Ask your contractor to explain their process for working with insurance companies and to describe what you can expect to experience during the process. For example, the claim may need to change depending on whether or not additional damage is found during the restoration process. Also, checks may be issued in stages by your insurance company.
6. When you need storm damage repair, insurance policies vary. Check with your insurance agent about what is or isn't paid for by insurance with regards to repair or replacement.
7. Local or national companies may both do a fine job with your storm damage repair needs. If you choose to do business with someone who is not local, be sure to understand who will be taking care of any service needs that may arise after the completion of the project.
8. Understand the differences between warranties and guarantees. The manufacturer warranties their products and contractors have warranties on service. Contractors may also offer customer service guarantees. Get copies of any/all warranties and guarantees.
9. Refrain from filing an insurance claim that you do not intend to fix. There could be repercussions from your insurance company when you are being compensated to make certain repairs. Keep in mind that if you hold a mortgage on your home, your mortgage company may have a vested interest in you making the repairs and most mandate you to make the repairs.
10. Some companies list bids on their on contract to do service work on your home and some do not (basing their pricing on insurance allowance). Both are acceptable methods of conducting business.