Hiring a contractor to repair damages to your home after a storm can be a complicated matter. While many may be inclined to choose the cheapest, most available option, it’s essential to keep more important things in mind when choosing a contractor.
Keep reading to learn more about recovering your home after summer storm damage and how to hire the ideal contractor for the job.
First Thing’s First: Assess the Damage
Take a look at the damage caused by the storm. If there are any open holes in your roof, windows, or exterior, cover them as well as possible to prevent further indoor and outdoor damage. However, do not start full repairs of the damage as your insurance adjuster will need to take a look at it. If the immediately necessary repairs require purchasing tarps or other materials, save your receipts.
Look for an Experienced, Trustworthy Contractor
Many homeowners are hiring a contractor for the first time when they need storm repair damage. This means they may not be used to assessing the qualifications and experience of the contractors in their area.
While there are likely many reputable contractors in your area, not all of them will be qualified enough to complete major repairs. First of all, you need to make sure that the contractors you speak with have a professional contracting license and our insured. This is for your safety and theirs.
You should also ask for a written estimate of the work you need to be completed. This means having contractors come to your home to assess the damage first. Each contractor you consider will then provide a printed out or written estimate of the repairs they plan on doing.
Your insurance company will want to assess these, making sure that they approve the contractor you wish to hire before you allow the contractor to begin repairs. If you don’t get pre-approval on the contractor you choose, it is possible your insurance company won’t approve the contractor you’ve chosen or the repairs they’ve estimated for. In this case, you would have to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket and would not get a payout.
Remember that wind damage is covered under most homeowners insurance policies. Flooding damage, however, is not. You need extra insurance for flooding coverage.
As a side note, as you shop around for a qualified contractor, make sure you steer clear of what the industry calls “storm chasers.”
What Are “Storm Chasers”?
“Storm Chasers” is the term the contracting industry uses for untrustworthy and unqualified contractors. These contractors may solicit you with too-good-to-be-true estimates on your repairs. They won’t be from the Oakdale area. In fact, many of them travel around the Midwest or the country, swindling people in areas like yours — those just hit by large storms. It’s always better to choose a contractor who is local to your area.
One of the reasons you have homeowners insurance is to protect yourself and your finances in the event of unexpected damage caused by a storm. However, you have some responsibility in this as well.
Remember that by contract, you must properly protect your property from further damage after a storm has hit. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to prevent storm damage in the first place by watching the weather and adequately preparing your home and property for incoming storms.
Your homeowner’s insurance policy should work for you. If you are unhappy with your current policy, are looking for a new plan, or have any questions related to your coverage options, contact Andreotti Agency today.