Hail Is Gone, Rip-Off Complaints Remain

The hail that fell last week has melted away and so could your insurance money if you pick the wrong roofer.

Chuck Donavon says his insurance settlement, not his roof, has been ripped off. “No supplies, no roofing and no contractor.” The Bellevue homeowner paid Minnesota-based ERC Construction a big chunk of his insurance money. Donavon didn't call ERC Construction, instead a company rep going door-to-door in his neighborhood found him in the yard and handed him a flyer.

Complaints about ERC have gone through the roof. The Better Business Bureau was contacted by 14 homeowners. “It appears seven of the 14 complaints were ignored, that would easily merit an ‘F’ rating with the Better Business Bureau,” said the BBB’s Jim Hegarty.

In February, after another homeowner got only a few materials, Fact Finders contacted the contractor, ERC Construction. “Some of their money is still available. It’s just up to a bankruptcy trustee to determine who gets what.”

For Donavon, several local contractors riding in white trucks came to the financial rescue. “Not all contractors are out to get your money and run,” said Mike Brinkman of Xcel Roofing. “We'll come in, do a decent job and take care of you.”

Xcel Roofing, Shelter Distribution and Armstrong Home Improvement will save Donavon $2,600 on roof replacement, more than enough to cover the insurance money lost. “I appreciate the way you have gone to your suppliers and ask them to help us out at the same time.”

His insurance money lost to an out of state roofer, Donavon said he’s reassured by the local companies that came to help.

The hailstorm last Tuesday night brought in out of state contractors or so-called "storm chasers.” Many are reputable, but before hiring one you should go to bbb.org and check them out.

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