After the storm: new law aimed to protect homeowners

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Storm chasers on the road to make a buck at your expense are in the metro and throughout the state.

In some cases, homeowners who've signed a contract may be forced to pay up even if they don't have wind or hail damage. However, a new bill passed by the Kentucky General Assembly may offer a little more protection.

Legislators passed House Bill 421, a new law aimed to give residents more consumer protection.

"They're making these decisions when they're under the most distress, right after a storm," Rep. Steve Riggs said.

Those shady storm chasers and their fine print - once you commit, it may be tough to quit. Some contracts require a 20% payment of the estimate if the homeowner chooses to cancel the agreement.

Effective this summer, that'll change. All Kentucky home and business owners will have 5 days to cancel at anytime, for any reason if the insurance company notifies the homeowner that part or all of the claim isn't covered.

"That way they have no legal obligation. You can't be taken to court. It can't be turned in to credit reporting agencies. All of which is going on now," Rep. Riggs said.

The Kentucky Roofing Contractors Association supports the new legislation. "They should feel a little more safe with some of the contractors approaching them," Eric Bowling said. "We want people to use quality, local contractors that have been here for years and years and continue to be here for years that will honor their long term warranties."

The new legislation won't take affect until July 2012. If you or someone you know has been a target of storm chasers and insurance denied your claim, you're encouraged to call the Attorney General's Office.

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