West Virginia Record

Sunday, September 22, 2019

AG's office urges consumers be cautious when seeking hail damage repairs

By Chris Dickerson | May 13, 2019

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey's office is urging Putnam County and other nearby consumers forced to deal with hail damage from recent thunderstorms to be cautious when hiring others to assist with repair and cleanup.

State law provides added protections for consumers coping with storm-related roofing repairs covered by insurance. Contractors must allow the consumer five days to cancel their contract without penalty for any repairs, or portions thereof, not covered by the consumer’s insurance policy. The clock begins with the consumer’s receipt of the insurance notice.

The consumer must also notify the contractor in writing of the cancellation. The written notice can be via email, letter or return of the company’s notice of cancellation form.

“Hail and other types of severe weather can do substantial damage to peoples’ homes and property,” Morrisey said. “Our office wants to protect affected West Virginians from being ripped off by someone posing to offer help.”

Any consumer employing the assistance of a contractor should do the following:

  • Evaluate the size and scope of their project.
  • Obtain price estimates from multiple companies.
  • Make sure the contractor provides an actual cost estimate, not just “what insurance covers.”
  • Research companies that do those jobs.
  • Ask for references to verify the contractor’s prior work.
  • Look for reviews of the company on trusted websites.
  • Check to see if the contractor has a valid license by contacting the West Virginia Contractor Licensing Board at 304-558-7890.
Those with questions and those who believe they have been the victim of a storm-related home repair scam are asked to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-368-8808 or visit www.wvago.gov.

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