Beware of unsolicited contractors offering to check for roof damage.

Illinois' Consumer Protection Against Storm Chasers Act aims to keep storm-damaged communities from being further victimized. The Act prohibits contractors from inspecting homes for damage without permission, filing insurance claims, representing you with the insurer, and paying or rebating insurance deductibles.

The Act gives owners three business days to cancel a work contract signed at the damaged residence. In addition, the owner has five days to cancel the work contract if the insurer denies coverage and 30 days to cancel after filing a claim. The contractor must return payment less emergency repair costs.

Repair tips for storm victims:

  1. Choose a recommended local contractor.
  2. Get multiple estimates.
  3. Save the written, signed contract.
  4. Never pay with cash.
  5. Don't pay the balance until repairs are finished to your satisfaction.
  6. Confirm state licenses and local permits are intact. Roofers are licensed by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. The Illinois Department of Insurance licenses public adjusters.
  7. Verify the contractor has proper insurance.