AURORA, Ill. (CBS) – After heavy wind and hail storms strike, storm chasers quickly move in with offers to fix what they say is damage to your home. Consumers have to be careful because that damage may not be storm-related.
CBS 2 Investigator Dave Savini exposes a type of scam that is most common in Illinois, and costing all homeowners in higher insurance premiums.
In an Aurora subdivision, workers from Roselle-based Blue Rose Restoration were knocking on doors offering to conduct storm damage inspections.
That’s when one neighbor, off-duty news photographer Tim Horstman, caught a worker on-camera actually making dents into the siding of a home. The worker was caught jamming his thumb and fist repeatedly into aluminum siding.
“I thought to myself, did he just do what I think he did?” said Horstman.
Horstman saw, and videotaped, Chris Skedd of Blue Rose Restoration, damaging siding and even gutters. He was caught on tape using his body weight and thumb to make dents.
“I have nothing to say here,” said Skedd.
When asked why his thumb would make a dent, Skedd said, “That’s a good question.”
The house that was damaged belongs to Robert Perez. He says Skedd offered to inspect his home and was supposed to wait until after an insurance company adjuster inspection the following day.
Perez said Skedd instead came early and while he was away at work, which angers Perez.
Chris Skedd has been in trouble before. He has been arrested 11 times for theft, drugs, weapons, and even a DUI.
Skedd told CBS 2 that he gets commission for every house he signs up, but not until he finds enough damage to get the homeowners insurance to pay.
“I’d say you got some pretty good video,” said Roger Morris from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.
He says this type of alleged fraud has exploded in the last five years, costing everyone in higher premiums.
“It’s very serious and it’s fraud,” said Morris, who added that Illinois is the number one state in the nation for suspicious hail damage complaints.
The best way to avoid becoming a victim is to make sure your insurance company adjuster takes a look at any storm damage first.
Attempts to reach Blue Rose Restoration were unsuccessful.