Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Storm Damage Contractors Arrive

When we got home tonight there was a mobile home parked in front of a neighbor's house, and a pickup truck parked across the street.  Both vehicles were very brightly painted announcing that they belonged to something called (without the asterisks or the double quotes) ""THI*Storm*Damage*Repair"".

On our doorknob was a brochure.  It said, in part "Over the next day and weeks you will notice [our trucks] working in your neighborhood.  Our company uses highly sophisticated storm tracking software which determined your neighborhood was among the hardest hit by the storms."

Oh really?  I hate to minimize what any of my neighbors may have suffered but I know areas way more heavily hit.  For example, eastern Broome County.  Villages in the Catskills.  And, oh yes, Vermont.  And Westchester County in NY (more on that below).  But I digress.

The brochure went on to offer a free no obligation inspection of our home since "...[their] employees performed a free no obligation inspection of your neighbors homes and found many had sustained damage from the storm.  The damage ranged from roof and shingle damage to window and siding damage."  And even further "We have determined that the complete cost of [their] services in your neighborhood will be, in most cases, fully covered by homeowners insurance".

Well, I would be very tempted to call my insurance agent and ask them if they have ever dealt with these people and if it was true that they would waive a deductible if these people performed the repairs.  The reason why I am really concerned about this is that I have an elderly relative (in her 90's) downstate, in Westchester County, who suffered a partial roof collapse.   If these people arrive in her neighborhood, will she or her son be tempted to use their services?

I did an Internet search and couldn't find anything much, which could be good. They have a A+ BBB rating but I have recently read that that isn't automatically an endorsement of a business.  On the other hand they are not local but rather from Pennsylvania. This area is hard hit economically.  In my humble opinion it is best, if you need repairs, to use local businesses using local employees. You can check them out by asking your neighbors.

So many things people in storm hit areas have to worry about.  Now, maybe, comes one more.  It's interesting that I did not see these people in my neighborhood after the Binghamton flood of 2006.  Portions of my neighborhood were flooded and evacuated.  Hmmmm...could it be because regular homeowners insurance doesn't normally cover flood damage?

If I am wrongfully suspicious - well, it is better to be suspicious, isn't it?   Due diligence.
 




3 comments:

  1. I don't think you are overreacting at all. When we lived in CO, we had similar issues with companies coming around to repair roofs after wind damage. The insurance companies started getting really suspicious, and last I heard, CO rates in general were going up because of these guys. (they did something similar... leaving notes, free estimates, etc).

    You did the right thing by investigation. As my dad always says, "Trust, but verify!"

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  2. Maybe while they're around they can also repair the chipped windshield of your car. :P

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