It’s only February, but with Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow and spring nearly here it’s only a matter of time before the tornado sirens begin to sound at times other than noon on Saturdays. The one thing that Oklahoma is good at is drawing natural disasters near. Tornados, earthquakes, hail and at times flooding are just a few of nature’s great wonders we get to experience. With all those joys happening, it’s possible that this year there will be a time where a large area suffers damage that will need to be repaired.
We know the drill by now—storm is predicted—hail starts—hail destroys roof—you and your neighbor need a new roof. Spring in Oklahoma is when most contractors make their most money. Money going to reputable, Oklahoma businesses is good! They pay Oklahoma tax dollars and it goes back into our economy. But how do you determine the legitimate from the phonies? Here’s a few guidelines to follow
- Get multiple bids – Get referrals from friends, family, and your local insurance agent for a few different companies. Get two to three repair bills that include all the costs, what the work entails, scheduled completion, and their guarantees.
- Don’t pay anything upfront – Most reputable contractors won’t charge you simply for bidding on your repair. Anyone asking for payment upfront could be crooked. Once work begins, the initial payment is normally around 20%. Do not pay in full before the work begins and don’t pay extra if a contractor says the cost of material “suddenly increased.” Pay only what’s in your contract.
- Put It in writing – Get a signed contract before work begins. Be wary of a contract that has blank spaces that could be filled in without your knowledge.
- Licensed and insured is good – It is ok to ask to see a contractors state license and proof of insurance. The state of Oklahoma is specific about their licensure and if it’s a trustworthy business, it should not be an issue.
- Beware unfamiliar – With major disasters, there is lots of money to be made. Out of state companies are rampant. Be careful with out of state contractors, door to door roofers, and anyone that may be unmarked or can’t show proof of their business.
Always use common sense when dealing with home repair. If something seems off, trust your gut and go in a different direction. If you have questions regarding your insurance, ECI is always here. Contact us for a Oklahoma City homeowners insurance quote.