Colorado experienced its first spring hail storm Monday leaving many consumers left with damaged homes and vehicles. Although it’s tempting to just get the needed work scheduled and done, Better Business Bureau reminds consumers to take time and do research to ensure you find a trustworthy contractor and auto body repair company. BBB offers the following advice:
If your home sustains wind, hail or flood damage:
Contact your insurance company as soon as possible to get the claims process started.
Many municipalities require a solicitation permit if sales people go door-to-door. Verify if they need to have a permit by contacting your local city offices.
Research contractors at bbb.org and review their BBB Business Profile for complaints and customer reviews.
While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know to inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may actually create damage to get work. Try to get at least three quotes from contractors, and insist that payments be made to the company, not an individual.
Do not pay for the job in advance. Be wary of any contractor who demands full payment upfront.
Resist high-pressure sales tactics such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire the contractor on the spot.
Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done, the amount of liability insurance coverage maintained by the contractor, and a time frame for work to be completed. Require a copy of their current certificate of insurance.
Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.
Check that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or markings on it with the business name and phone number. An out-of-state license plate may be a red flag to investigate the company further.
If your car sustains hail damage:
Your car insurance policy will cover hail damage only if you have comprehensive coverage. Call your insurance agent or company immediately to report the damage and discuss how to proceed with repairs.
After an insurance adjuster has surveyed your vehicle’s hail damage, you will need to find a reputable auto body shop to make repairs. Check out potential businesses at bbb.org.
Your insurance company will be able to determine the severity of your damage and consult with you and the body shop on which repair method makes the most sense for your vehicle.
Find out how long the repair will take. If many cars were damaged in your area, it may take more time than usual to schedule the repair.
Make sure your vehicle is repaired to your satisfaction. Check for any remaining dents before driving your vehicle home.
Get guarantee and contact information from the shop in writing. If you notice a flaw in your vehicle's repair, you should be able to have it fixed at no additional charge.