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The Temptations of a “Free Lunch”
…Loopholes in the Insurance System.

By: Anthony A. LoCoco - 8/4/08

It is safe to say that at some point or another we have all sought the proverbial “free lunch”. Getting a car dealer to throw in free floor mats, or perhaps signing up for the Sunday paper and actually getting weekdays for free. As American’s we are all use to being catered to, whether it is justified or not. Many times our want is driven from the fact that we perceive that someone else is getting a leg-up on the system, so naturally we want to get our slice of the pie. This disturbing fact can be found when looking into a facet of our industry populated by so-called “restoration and insurance claim specialists” many of us in the construction industry refer to them as Storm Chasers.

These individuals descend on an area and go door-to-door after a storm to offer their services, in many cases the “damage” is not visible from the street or even to the untrained eye. They go on to say that they can work with your insurance company to get your siding or roof replaced for free, all you have to do is sign a contract of intent and they will do the rest.

In nearly all of the cases they exploit loopholes in insurance policies to get roofing and siding replaced that has not blown off the home, and is still functioning as designed. They recommend the replacement of these items based on superficial and cosmetic hale “pings”. Some of you may be shaking your head in disbelief at this point but it is true, insurance adjusters are actually approving these types of claims. This is a huge industry that preys on homeowner ignorance or greed and poor insurance company practices. The residual effects of these grey area claims are higher insurance premiums for us all and more materials being condemned before their useful life cycle has been reached which is poor ecology by consuming products and resources we do not need.

Here are some things you can do, refuse to do business with Storm Chasers who canvass door-to-door. If you feel you might have storm damage call a reputable local contractor and ask them to do an inspection. If damage is found only make an insurance claim for the actual damage area[s]. Spread the word to your friends and neighbors; make them understand that there is no such thing as a free lunch. Call your insurance company and ask them to close the loop holes that make exploiting insurance claims possible in the first place. Find out if they have a best practice policy in place to end needless claims, you may have to contact the corporate office as well as your agent. Although your agent may have information for you they do not make policy for your insurance carrier.

Traditions Home Improvement Service does not solicit door-to-door, occasionally we will leave printed materials in neighborhoods we are currently working in but do not solicit business by engaging homeowners in person that have not contacted us first. We do not actively seek insurance work as a primary function of our business. We are always available to provide clients with useful information and answer questions with honesty and integrity.

For more information on how we can serve your home
improvement needs contact us today.