Hail, Hail, the Gangs (of Contractors) Are Here
The recent hail storms were a bit of a surprise. If you have incurred damage through these storms, we would like to ensure your property is made whole. Please refer to the helpful tips below to ensure the path you follow leads to recovery and not further disaster…
- Hire a contractor based on referrals. Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and ask contractors for references.
- Try to get a local contractor. Ask contractors if they are subcontracting your job. Be careful if local contractors are using outside subcontractors.
- Get lien waivers from anyone you pay for home repairs. Lien waivers protect you if the person collecting the money does not pay the suppliers or workers.
- Get a written contract with a start and completion date and warranty information. Also, make certain that the contract states exactly what work is to be done and what materials are to be used. Never rely on a verbal commitment.
- Have someone watch the work being done. Check with your local building inspector to see if the work requires a permit. Make sure an inspector visits the job site before you make a final payment.
- Request a copy of the contractor’s certificate of liability insurance.
- Contractors cannot represent or negotiate with the customer’s homeowner’s insurer on behalf of the customer. The contractor can, with the consent of the customer, discuss damages and costs associated with the repairs with the insurer.
- Contractors cannot promise to pay all or some of a property insurance deductible.
- Customers have a right to cancel the contract within three business days of being notified that their insurer has denied all or any part of the claim for work. Contractors must notify customers of this right.
Above all, it is important to protect yourself from the influx of unscrupulous contractors, which often canvas neighborhoods in the aftermath of severe storms. Insureds can contact the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection to see if complaints have been issued for any particular business.