Your Florida home’s roof is one of the most significant investments you will make throughout your ownership and one that has a substantial impact on its resale value. If you aren’t in the roofing industry, you will need to rely on what you are told, and unfortunately, some dishonest people will attempt to make you commit insurance fraud when it comes to your roof. Read on to learn some of the most common roofing insurance scams currently on the rise so you can protect yourself.
How to Recognize a Scam
Roofing insurance fraud is more than an annoyance — it can be a felony. Defined as misrepresentation for the purpose of receiving money from an insurance company, instead of the fraudulent contractor being held responsible, the homeowner often is, risking community service, probation, or even jail time. These charlatans entice unwitting homeowners with the promise of a free or “no money out of pocket” roof.
Storm chasers are contractors who go where there has just been a major storm. They leave door hangers or speak to homeowners to convince homeowners to file an insurance claim that the contractor then intercepts for their own use.
Beware if someone knocks on your door stating they notice damage on your roof and will inspect it for free — naturally, they will find damage and will picket the money you give them to fix. Or, they will begin but not finish the work and tell you while it’s underway that more money is needed.
Down Payment Requirement
In this scenario, a scammer will say that they need a down payment to pay for materials. They will pressure you into signing the first insurance check over to them but will keep the money for themselves and disappear. Unfortunately, senior citizens are often targeted by this type of scammer.
How to Protect Yourself and Your Wallet
With scammers so prevalent and new scams being thought of all the time, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are a few easily actionable steps you can take to keep from being tricked.
Ask for Proof
When engaging the services of any construction professional, you should ask for their permanent place of business as well as a tax id number and business license, if required in your area. You should also request proof that they hold liability and worker’s compensation insurance coverage and verify their licensing status.
Check for References
Word of mouth can be an effective way to root out scammers. Ask for a list of references and contact these for their reviews or check with other homeowners in your neighborhood who have replaced their roofs for recommendations. Also, be sure to check online review forums such as Yelp and the business’s social media accounts and Google listing.
Get a Written Proposal
Ask for a detailed breakdown of all costs associated with your new roof, including the following.
- Accurate description of the work to be performed
- Specifics about the materials that will be used
- Start and completion date estimates
- Payment procedures
McFall’s Helps You Not Fall For Scams
The bottom line is this — if an unfamiliar roofing contractor offers you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it likely is. So the best way to avoid being scammed out of your money and new roof is to use a trusted roofer. When you choose the team at McFall’s Residential Roofing, you have peace of mind that we are here for you over the life of your roof through installation, maintenance, and repair by a company with decades in business. We deliver what we say we will, and you get to enjoy a headache-free experience over the life of your roof. Contact us or request an estimate today so we can get started on your roofing project!