BBB tip: resources help ease storm damage stress

Better Business 

Bureau of Minnesota

and North Dakota

 

Minnesotans earlier this month experienced the first severe thunderstorm of the year, and with more to come this summer, Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota is here to guide consumers who are seeking storm repair or lawn services.

If your property was damaged or you have flooding in your home, step one is to contact your insurance company. Your damage may be covered, and your insurance company may have contractors to recommend. 

When vetting storm repair and lawn service contractors, step two is to research businesses on www.BBB.org. We have BBB business profiles on thousands of home contractors, and you can read about experiences other consumers have had with them. It’s also a good idea to check with state and local government agencies to ensure a contractor is properly licensed.

Having trust in a contractor inspecting your home is crucial, especially with so much money on the line. While most contractors abide by the law, an unethical contractor may actually create more damage just to get work. That’s why step three is to be extra wary of quotes regarding places in your home you cannot see. 

If your home incurred storm damage, this can be a stressful time. Step four is a reminder to stay composed and resist high-pressure sales tactics. Beware of “storm chasers” — out-of-town contractors soliciting business from regions affected by natural disasters. Be proactive in seeking a contractor and not reactive to sales calls or door-to-door pitches. 

Once you select a contractor, step five is to get an invoice and pay the contractor directly, preferably with a credit card, which offers additional fraud protection over other forms of payment. Don’t sign-over any documents that give the contractor any rights to your insurance claims. 

This month’s storm won’t be the last of the summer, but BBB is here every season of the year working to increase trust and ethical business standards in the marketplace. If you sense something questionable about a transaction or a contractor, take that opportunity to ask more questions or — better yet — utilize BBB’s Request-a-Quote service at www.BBB.org/ask/request-a-quote.  

 

—With more than 7,200 regionally accredited businesses, BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota is a not-for-profit organization. The mission of BBB is to promote, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill public confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, protect and assist the public. Contact the www.BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here