...call this homeowners’ advocate.
By Tim Hadac
Southwest Chicago Post
The severe winds that just passed through the Chicago area--gusts of up to 60 mph, knocking out power to more than 100,000 homes--can leave quite a bit in their wake: downed trees and power lines, damaged roofs and fast-talking quick-fix guys who seem to come out of nowhere.
“The morning after the last storm passed, there were
branches, leaves and even a few [roof] shingles on my front lawn,” said Garfield Ridge resident Bill Wajda said after a storm a few years ago. “The only thing that wasn’t blown all over the place were the three—three—advertising leaflets from three different guys offering to fix my roof, all stuffed in my storm door.”
Wajda said he didn’t recognize any of the companies named on the leaflets and that none of their phone numbers appeared to be local. He threw all three in the trash.
Such businesses are known as storm chasers. Everyone, from the Better Business Bureau to local chambers of commerce, warn against them.
“Although not all storm chasers are scammers, they may lack the proper licensing for your area, offer quick fixes, or make big promises they can’t deliver,” cautioned the BBB in a seasonal statement.
“Be careful, check references and make sure you’re dealing
|Geno Randazzo (right) and Al Cacciottolo
Randazzo’s business, All Exterior Contractors—licensed, bonded, insured and a member of the Midway Chamber of Commerce—is known for quality home repairs at a reasonable price.
He also has been visible in the community over the last several years, helping sponsor drives to assist military veterans, local school children and Thanksgiving dinners for senior citizens.
What sets Randazzo apart from others is that he also serves as a public claims adjuster—a licensed professional who can and has gotten insurance companies to pay what they should pay homeowners.
“Just about everybody likes their local insurance agent—it may be a friend, a relative, an old classmate—but all too often, it’s a different story when people have to deal with the big insurance companies,” Randazzo said. “Keep in mind, that big insurance company you’ve been paying premiums to for years and years does not represent you. They represent themselves. I have heard story after story where homeowners had thousands of dollars in storm damage, only to have their insurance company cut them a check in the hundreds. They got short-changed; and since they didn’t know their rights, they didn’t know what to do.”
“What I tell people is, call me first at (708) 705-7900—before you call your insurance agent, before you contact your insurance company to make a claim,” Randazzo added. “I will show you how I will work on your behalf, representing you, to get what you deserve.”
Click here to see two testimonials.