Sadly, not all businesses have the best intentions after a fire, when families and businesses are feeling their most vulnerable. There are many companies, coined “Fire Chasers”, that will find businesses and homes affected by fire by listening to police scanners. Their goal is to quickly visit the destination of the disaster and sign business for their companies. These companies show up uninvited, pushing their services to restore your home or business.
In many cases these “fire chasers” will show up to your home and try to get you to sign an agreement right then and there. They will take advantage of the victims of the fire, preying on their emotional and helpless state. In many cases they will be promised thousands of dollars more than what the insurance company would offer by having them handle the restoration process. Some will even offer cash right then and there just to sign the agreement.
This is actually illegal. The money these companies are offering is essentially a bribe that will ultimately come directly out of the insurance proceedings, shortchanging the victim for their loss. Accepting this can leave the home or business owner with not enough money to restore the property, not to mention the potential consequences from scamming the insurance company.
Many of these agreements have the restoration company listed on the paperwork, meaning that the insurance check will go directly to them as opposed to the property owner. These agreements, once signed, often do not have an option for canceling, leaving the victim stuck.
In most cases, these “fire chasers” are businesses that are not licensed or bonded and many are uninsured. You should never sign an agreement with a restoration company that is not licensed and insured. Checking with the Better Business Bureau can also go a long way to ensure that you are working with a reputable company.
Always be sure to read the entire agreement before signing and take a company that is pressuring you to sign immediately as a red flag.
With decades of experience in the industry, Soil-Away is fully licensed, bonded and insured. Soil-Away has established itself as a reputable and fair restoration company. We work with the victims of a fire and their insurance company to make them whole again. If you have experienced a fire or are being harassed by fire chasers, call our office today (603-641-6555) to start your fire damage recovery process with a company that cares about you!