When people hear the term storm chaser, they often think of people in an old van speeding in to the middle of a tornado with all sorts of funky equipment attached to their van. It is a little known fact that there is actually another type of storm chaser, and they are not as people friendly as the kind that drives into storms. Storm chasers are “contractors” that come in after a bad storm and try to act as a public adjuster. They will tell you that you need to make an insurance claim on the damage done to your house, have you sign a contract without giving you a price, and then insist that they talk to your insurance company or insurance adjuster for you. This could spell trouble for you.
There are good honest contractors out there, but storm chasers are giving contractors across the board a bad name. Storm Chasers have you sign a contract to talk to your insurance agent to work something out with them. After the insurance agent has decided to make the claim and pay for the damage, the contractor will start work on your house. Many of these contractors do not have the proper licenses and insurance, and if they were to get injured on your property you could be liable to fit the bill. These contractors are conning people and preying on their ignorance to the insurance and contracting world. There is also the problem of warranty; how would you find them once the work is completed? What if the repairs they made have an issue, do you have a warranty on the renovations?
Some contractors will even come in from out of town and “rent” another contractor’s business name and phone number and use it until they leave. For the people that hire these contractors while they are in town, once that contractor leaves town they are out of luck. Overall, storm chasers are the equivalent to ambulance chasers, and they are not something that you want to get involved in.
If you are ever wondering whether someone is credible or not, the best thing you can do is research, research, research. Research the credentials of the company and person, find out if they are properly license to do what they are offering. In example, when searching for a public insurance adjuster, make sure they are qualified, experienced, and have proper licensing to practice insurance adjusting. If you know what these people are about before they even approach you, you have a much better chance of protecting you and you peace of mind.