East Texas experts share tips on hail damage repairs, avoiding scammers

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – After the storm that struck East Texas on Sunday, home and car owners that received hail damage should file a claim as soon as possible but keep a critical eye when it comes to repair companies.

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If there is significant damage, people should quickly cover it up incase there is another storm on the way.

“Tarp that up or put a board over any kind of damage, with a car maybe put a tarp over a broken window,” Richard Johnson with the Insurance Council of Texas said.

Johnson said if people buy items to cover up the damage, they should keep the receipts so that their insurance company can reimburse them.

“Whether you have video footage or photographs or pictures, go ahead and take that to show your insurance company,” Johnson said.

Johnson said many people often forget to take photos of their home or car before the damage, so insurance companies can compare.

The Insurance Council of Texas said if you don’t want to use the repair shop offered by the insurance company, you can get multiple bids in the area.

“If you want call a couple contractors is a really good idea also, before the insurance company gets out there, have a third party assess the damage before the insurance adjuster shows up,” Johnson said.

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After a storm rolls out and leaves damage the repair scammers roll trickle in.

“They don’t want you to do your homework, they don’t want you to make an educated decision,” Mechele Mills with the Better Business Bureau said.

The BBB said it’s important for people to do their research, so people are not taken advantage of.

What to look out for when getting storm damage repairs:

  • Be critical of flyers on cars and people walking door to door.

  • Most businesses have company branded materials, have business cards, branded car and shirts.

    • “If they don’t have any company branded materials, that is an indication that either they may not have a lot of experience,” Mills said.

  • If businesses require you to pay up front, don’t. The BBB said you should pay a portion before, halfway through repairs and when you are satisfied at the end.

    • “You never want to pay for anything up front, because too often we see companies take your money and run,” Mills said.

  • If businesses are pressuring you to utilize their business and not giving you time to think about it, that is not a good sign.

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