Beware of fraudulent repair companies after damaging tornadoes

The BBB warns some unethical contractors will damage homes themselves to get work

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Following the damaging tornados this weekend, the Better Business Bureau warns people to exercise caution with traveling repair firms.

“In these difficult times, it can be difficult to know who to turn to when navigating post-storm damage,” said BBB Regional President and CEO Jim Hegarty. “Natural disasters can certainly bring out the best in people, especially in our communities where help comes quickly from neighbors. But unfortunately, there are also solicitors looking to take advantage of vulnerable victims.”

The BBB identified a few red flags to be aware of:

  • Door-to-door workers who claim to have leftover materials. Avoid agreeing to front-porch sales pitches and take time to research the company.
  • A contractor who shows up announced and claims your home is unsafe. While most roofing contractors abide by the law, be careful allowing someone you do not know to inspect your roof. An unethical contractor may create damage to get work.
  • Firms who ask you to pay in full for all repairs in advance. Avoid cash payments and use a credit card if possible. The BBB suggests paying for no more than one-third of a job up front.
  • Businesses without local addresses. 

When a repair firm comes knocking, get written quotes that cover the materials, scope of work, payment procedures, length of warranty and what is covered.

Check out any contractor being considered with the BBB at bbb.org. There you can read their business profile and view their marketplace history.

Discuss any documents that give contractors rights to your insurance claims with your insurance agency or company.

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