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Storm Damage Check List to Avoid Fraud

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Photo:KMOX/Brian Kelly

Photo:KMOX/Brian Kelly

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Start Farm Insurance released a list of the top ten things a homeowner should consider after storm damage:

1. Don’t let anyone on your roof until you speak with your insurance agent first.
2. If you get into a conversation with them, get their name, business address, and phone number. Call the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or Attorney General’s office and mention the contractor and repair discussions. Also, contact BBBs in surrounding states, as these firms travel. Keep in mind they may also disguise themselves by adopting the name of a reputable contractor in your area.
3. Don’t pay anything up front and don’t rush into signing a contract.
4. It’s illegal in Missouri to waive a deductible as an incentive to get business. Went into effect Aug. 28, 2011. Violation is considered an unlawful merchandising practice.
5. Look for an established, licensed roofer and request references.
6. Ask to see certificates of insurance to be sure both liability and workers compensation insurance coverage is carried, and are in force during the time the roofing work is being done.
7. Insist on a detailed, written estimate clearly stating the quantity of materials needed (labor charges; work specifications) which include approximate starting and completion dates; payment procedures and that any necessary building permits are secured. Consider paying in installments, based on how much of the work is done at certain times.
8. Carefully review and understand any warranty and watch for conditions that would void it.
9. Use caution (ask questions) before accepting a bid substantially lower than other bids covering the same repair work.
10. You may also contact your National Roofing Contractors Association for assistance in locating a professional contractor in a specific geographic area at 1-800-USA-ROOF or 1-800-872-7663 or go to http://www.nrca.net.

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