How Can You Avoid Fire Chasers?
The best way to avoid fire chasers is to know what to look for. There are
several give-away behaviors that will help you differentiate between
credible and non-credible disaster restoration companies.
1. Fire chasers will offer to pay your insurance deductible for you.
This is a huge red flag. If a company says that you won’t have to pay your
deductible, or they will cover it for you, there is very little doubt that
this company is up to no good.
This can end up creating a fraud investigation that you are now a part of.
You and your insurer have a contract, and the builder or restoration
company should not get involved in the terms of that contract.
2. Fire chasers will start working on your property before you
authorize them to do so.
Showing initiative is one thing, but if someone starts working before you
have even had a chance to agree to the terms, discuss prices, or speak to
your insurance company.
If someone shows up and says, “I can get started right now,” don’t
overlook the obvious: they may be trying to get you on the hook for work
that they have started, and guilt or manipulate you into letting them
continue, regardless of what you learn about them later.
3. Fire chasers often work under names you’ve never heard of.
If you have never heard of the company before, why is that? It could be
something innocent, like they are a brand new company trying to get their
feet off the ground. Or it could be a sign of a fire chaser.
When fire chasers move from region to region to work, they don’t develop a
relationship with the community. Bad reviews are less likely to follow
companies that switch locations and even business names regularly.
One thing to look for is the address. If they only have a PO Box for an
address, they likely don’t have a long-term track record of doing great
work for their clients.