BBB encourages dealing with trusted contractors for hail damage

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (May 22, 2014) – The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is urging Hoosiers to be careful when finding a contractor after hail caused damage in Indiana Wednesday.

The BBB serving Central Indiana reminds residents to be on the lookout for out-of-town contractors who may take advantage of those affected by the storm. Some contractors are legitimate businesses trying to help, but others are out to make a quick buck off vulnerable storm victims.

“After assessing the damage of the storms to your property, find out what needs to be done, and contact your insurance company to find out what is covered,” said BBB serving Central Indiana President and CEO Tim Maniscalo.

Find a reputable contractor by getting recommendations from friends and family and using a BBB Accredited general contractor listed here.

BBB warns about contractors who falsely create or take a local identity in order to appear to be a central Indiana business. During the time following a major storm, contractors may approach your house offering to do repair services for you. Some may offer extremely low prices and quick repairs, which can be warning signs.

To help ensure you receive the services you pay for, BBB offers these tips:

  • Don’t hire people who just show up at your door offering services such as tree or debris removal and roof repair.
  • Resist high-pressure sales tactics, such as the “good deal” you’ll get only if you hire that contractor on the spot.
  • When approached by a contractor, ask for proof of licensing and bonding.
  • Check that the contractor’s vehicle has signs or marketing on it with the business name and phone number.
  • Get several quotes, and insist payments be made to the company, not an individual.
  • Deal with reputable contractors, and check out BBB’s Accredited Businesses here.
  • BBB encourages paying no more than one-third of the repair cost upfront.
  • Get a written contract that specifies the price, the work to be done and a time frame for completion.
  • Prices are often high in the immediate aftermath of a storm. Be careful of price gouging.
  • Pay by credit card, if possible; you may have additional protection if there’s a problem.

With the possibility of damage caused by future storms, just remember you shouldn’t feel forced to make a decision. Only make a decision you are comfortable with.