Angie's List: Watch out for post-storm scams

Some contractors will take advantage post-storm

INDIANAPOLIS - It's common knowledge that every family needs an emergency plan before severe weather hits, but don't let your guard down after the storm has passed.

Shady contractors will hunt out vulnerable homeowners reeling from post-storm toppled trees, scattered shingles and broken windows.

Angie Hicks, with Angie's List, said dishonest contractors have been known to disappoint in many ways.

"A lot of times they have taken money and didn't do the work, they did shoddy work or they are not standing behind it after the work is done," she said.

The next time severe weather strikes, Angie's List says be weary of contractors that go door-to-door right away.

"Once you've had a problem: had a storm come through, have tree damage, make sure you assess it and do the same research (as) you would when you are hiring a company under any circumstances," Hicks said.

Hicks said there are some tell-tale signs to look for when trying to spot a shady contractor.

"Watch for whether the company is local, they have marked trucks and vehicles, a local phone number," she said. "A lot of these projects that you are having done, roofing for example, is something you need to last a long time. It might come with a warranty as well. You want a company that is going to stand behind that work."

Two other red flags to watch for are companies that demand full payment up front and companies that offer to help pay your deductible.

Some contractors try to strong-arm homeowners into signing a contract for a "discount," but Hicks says a deal today should be a deal tomorrow.

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