Hail damage prompts warning to do proper research before hiring door to door ‘hail chasers’


Hail in New Palestine via Rebecca Elkins

NEW PALESTINE, Ind. — Days after baseball and golf ball sized hail hit central Indiana, consumer advocates warned against quickly hiring someone who shows up at your door.

One homeowner in New Palestine told CBS4 that three contractors knocked on her door Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after the storm damaged her home.

Nearby, Action Collision Repair owner Brad Stewart said he’d received his own unsolicited visit from a contractor, on top of handling calls from people with hail damage to their vehicles.

“I knew it was going to be a busy Monday,” Stewart said. “I had a customer waiting on me before I even opened up my doors.”

Scott Barnhart, Director of Consumer Protection at the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, warned against feeling the pressure to hire someone right away.

“Sometimes they’ll stand there or sit with you while you’re looking at that contract and so it’s important to say, ‘No, I need a day or two to look it over,'” Barnhart said.

Barnhart suggested carefully reviewing any contracts and getting multiple quotes, to ensure the initial quote is not very high or very low. In addition, you should not pay a large portion up front, but instead ensure that a contract doles out money only as work is completed.

Stewart echoed Barnhart’s advice when it comes to repairing vehicles. He suggested contacting your insurance company first, even if you’re not sure how much damage your vehicle sustained, and taking time if possible before you pay someone for repairs, particularly if they are what Stewart called “hail chasers,” who show up in town after a storm.

“I’ve seen it every hail storm I’ve been involved with so (my) recommendation to the public is just be careful who you’re dealing with,” Stewart said.

For more tips and suggestions, go to this link from the Attorney General’s Office.

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