Hail Damage? The Colorado Roofing Association Warns Homeowners of “Storm Chasers”


Colorado, known for its frequent spring and summer hailstorms, has seen a resurgence of severe weather events this year. As the state ranks second in the nation for hail-related insurance claims, home and building owners are confronted with the challenge of finding contractors to address the resulting damage. 

The Colorado Roofing Association (CRA) would like to remind homeowners that there are several guidelines to follow when hiring roofing and restoration contractors. 

“We want homeowners to be cautious of “storm chasers” immediately following a hailstorm,” said Debbie Hathorne, CRA Executive Director. “Storm chasers are contractors who follow storms and pose as local companies to solicit work before moving on to the next community. In some cases, these storm chasers don’t hold up their end of the deal, leaving before the job is completed or leaving homeowners in a difficult position when it comes to filing their insurance claim.” 

The CRA provides the following guidelines for homeowners when it comes to hiring a contractor: 

  • Do not sign anything without fully understanding the agreement.  You may be asked to sign a "waiver" to allow the storm chaser on the roof.  A lot of times this is a contract that has severe cancellation fees associated with it.  

  • Do not allow anyone on your property that knocks on your door, even if they are a local contractor.  Only allow people on your roof that you have called to come out.

  • Be patient, take time to follow the necessary steps, and understand that quality contractors will be busy after a major storm. If your roof isn’t leaking, it can wait until a quality roofer is available, be patient.  Do not rush or feel pressure to rush into a quick decision. 

  • The agreement should clearly state the materials to be used, the scope of work to be performed, and a price for these same services along with terms of payment, a 72-hour right of rescission clause, and who is responsible for permits, etc.

  • Call your insurance company immediately. It is solely the insurance adjuster's job to assess the damage. It is the homeowner's responsibility to choose the roofing contractor. 

  • It is illegal for a roofing contractor to offer to pay, waive, or rebate any insurance deductible.  Storm chasers may also offer you a "free upgrade", this is also illegal.  New legislation was signed into law in June of 2012 by Gov. Hickenlooper that prohibits this.

  • Ask for proof of insurance, including Workers' Compensation and General Liability, before signing a contract.

  • Payment should not be made until you are satisfied with the completed work. The ability to finance labor and materials is a sign of the financial stability of the contractor. If material is delivered to your home and then payment is requested, consider making a joint check payable to both the contractor and material supplier. You may ask for a full lien release as a condition of final payment. 

“It is important to choose a trusted, reputable local roofing contractor, especially after a storm,” adds Hathorne. “Call local references including friends and neighbors, as well as the Better Business Bureau. Find out their permanent business address and phone number and confirm that they are licensed as necessary so that local building permits, codes, and requirements will be followed, including project inspections.”

For more information, check out our guide, How to Spot Common Roofing Scams

About the Colorado Roofing Association 

The Colorado Roofing Association is a non-profit organization established in 1978. Our continued commitment is to promote the ethics, education, and image of the roofing industry throughout the State of Colorado. The Colorado Roofing Association is dedicated to helping homeowners and commercial building owners and managers make informed decisions about replacing and maintaining their roof systems and helping give back to the community through our charitable contributions.  Visit ColoradoRoofing.org for more information.