7 Popular Roofing Scams Homeowners Need to Avoid
Roofing Scams, Storm Chasers and Insurance Adjuster Impersonators – Oh My!
Roofing Scam #1: Storm Chasers
Storm chasers are temporary roofing companies, independent contractors or generally the unemployed with limited or no roofing experience at all, who will follow storm ravaged areas in order to scam homeowners out of their money. They do this by offering non-existent roofing services and running away with the homeowner’s cash.
Avoid signing with any roofing contractor that isn’t local to your area. Ask the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or other reputable and professional roofing organizations for references and city registration/licenses before dealing with any roofing contractor. Beware if the roofing contractor refuses to give you an independent estimate without first looking at your insurance paperwork. Do not sign anything and just tell him simply you are not interested in his services.
Roofing Scam #2: Paying Full Payment in Advance
If a roofing contractor is asking for full payment in advance, this is a red flag. This particular scam is especially common with the elderly or the first time the homeowner files an insurance claim. The roofing contractor will make a quick estimate, usually unbelievably low, ask for full payment in advance, take the money and the homeowner never sees him again.
A roofing contractor will never ask for full payment in advance. There are times a reputable roofing contractor will need to require a 30%-50% deposit, maybe as earnest money or to special order materials, but never request full payment.
Much of the time a roofing contractor such as Northwest Roofing, has Commercial accounts in which the roofing contractor pays for roofing materials on the 15th of the following month. If a contractor has such accounts, this shows financial responsibility of the roofing contractor and payment security to his vendors.
Roofing Scam #3: Roofers as Insurance Adjusters
This is just plain and simple. It is illegal in the state of Texas for anyone without an Insurance Adjusters License to perform as an Insurance Adjuster. Some roofers will act as an Insurance Adjuster in order to scam homeowners while trying to get as much money as they can from Insurance companies. In many states it is a state Felony to perform both roofing contractor and Insurance Adjuster on the same job. It is absolutely a conflict of interest no matter what he tells the homeowner. There are highly experienced roofing contractors that can and will work together with your Insurance Adjuster.
Roofing Scam #4: Lead Generation Companies
Another scam is when Lead Generation Companies saturate an area with phone calls offering services for roofing repair or full roof replacements. They will not disclose the actual names of the roofing companies that hired them to scout for unsuspecting homeowners, since they probably represent several different roofing companies at one time, mostly not local and often out of state.
These Lead Generation Companies will sale you on a free inspection and estimate and possibly a promise for a “free roof.” There is no such thing as a “free roof.”
If you agree to make an appointment, the Lead Generation Company will then sell your contact information to a roofing company. The roofing company will meet the homeowner on the agreed appointment and will become very persistent in selling the homeowner on a roofing contract although they didn’t really need one in the first place. Best advice, say you’re not interested and hang up.
Roofing Scam #5: Deductibles
Any roofer advertising to pay your deductible is leading you into a scam. Depending on the amount of money involved, if caught it will be a Misdemeanor or a state Felony punishable by up to 2 years plus fines. Yes, it is sad that deductibles have risen so high. $250-$500 standard deductibles are long gone and now with 1% deductibles standard and that is changing to 1 ½% – 2 ½%, it is outrageous. It is clearly stated in your insurance policy that the deductible is your responsibility of the insurance claim to pay.
If your goal is to get out of paying your insurance deductible by hiring a roofing contractor who offers to pay your deductible, you are risking your chances of getting an inferior roof. They will have to either use roofing materials that are considered flawed, which do not have any warranty, or the roofer could be using stolen materials. Other shortcuts are to not install new felt, reuse old pipe vents and roof vents and gas vents that are not operational, dangerous or dry rotted. Regardless, this type of scammer will make his money and you will be left with an inferior roof on your home.
If your deductible seems too high, then I advise to speak with your Insurance Agent. Be careful not to over insure your home and do not insure the lot your home sits on. A typical home that is valued at 150K, with a 1% deductible is $1,500.00. Now take that same home, over insure it by 75k (homeowners routinely get talked into this), accept a 2% deductible since you will save $250.00 on premiums per year, and now your deductible is $4,500.00. Accepting your Insurance Agent’s idea of over-insuring doesn’t sound so good when replacing an $8,000.00 roof and half of that is coming out of your pocket.
Roofing Scam #6: Door Knockers
What can you say? Just say no. Do not let a stranger that you did not call climb up on your roof. The scam is if they cannot find enough damage or any at all, they may begin to dime or quarter spin. Spinning is a way to damage the roof in a way it will look like hail damage.
Experienced Insurance Adjusters will recognize spinning and deny your claim. If you hadn’t let the door knocker up on your roof, you would not be in this situation. Now you have a damaged roof that the repairs or replacement will be paid for by the homeowner. The insurance company has pictures and notes and when time to renew your policy they will then cancel it unless you replace the roof.
Roofing Scam #7: Insurance Adjuster Impersonator
Who Is A Public Insurance Adjuster?
According to the Texas Dept. of Insurance (TDI), Code Chapter 4102: A “Public Insurance Adjuster” means
- A person who, for direct, indirect, or any other compensation, acts on behalf of an insured to negotiate or effect the settlement of an insurance claim is performing the acts of a public insurance adjuster. This can only be done by a “licensed” adjuster not a roofer advertising “professional adjuster on board”.
- A person who advertises, solicits business, or holds themselves out to the public as an adjuster of claims for loss or damage under any policy of insurance covering real or personal property is also performing the acts of a public Insurance Adjuster.
In fact, insurers cannot utilize roofers as public Insurance Adjusters or provide commissions to them in the form of direct or indirect payments or rebates that are in excess of amount owed under the policy. Otherwise saying, your insurance company cannot send out someone in a truck to determine your damage; they must pay the licensed Claims Adjuster to do this job.
If a roofer handed you two business cards, one with a roofing company name and his name, and the second one with a public insurance adjuster company name and his name, would be illegal. As a public Insurance Adjuster, he/she would have to either represent the roofing company or the home owner but not both.
Public Insurance Adjusters are not allowed to work under any other name or associate with advertisements, solicitations or business contracts with a roofing company.
Also, a Public Insurance Adjuster is prohibited from participating directly or indirectly in the repair or restoration of damaged property that is the subject of a claim adjusted by the license holder. This is a conflict of interest.
A professional roofing company will work with an Insurance Adjuster, but will stick with the roofing and construction end of the job.
Don’t be the prey of these types of individuals, promising to “build up” and “work in” fictitious claims just to achieve a higher settlement.
From the Texas Dept. of Insurance Commissioner’s Bulletin:
The department takes seriously the harm unlicensed individuals and entities can cause on the marketplace when they prey on unsuspecting consumers and the industry. I urge insurers, agents, adjusters, and consumers to help call attention to and halt attempts by unlicensed persons to negotiate insurance claims, and I encourage everyone to report these practices to the department and the TDI Fraud Unit.
The Insurance Code provides for both civil and criminal penalties for violating this licensing requirement. The department will refer unlicensed persons performing the acts of a public insurance adjuster to the Texas Attorney General, pursue all remedies available under the Insurance Code, and highlight these practices to the Legislature so that it may consider further steps to regulate these persons and activities.
Bottom line is, just don’t let anyone that is walking the neighborhood climb onto your roof, and always call a legitimate roofing expert.
Northwest Roofing is a reputable roofing contractor who has lived in Tarrant County since 1997 and has over 25+ years of roofing experience. We have an A+ BBB business rating and our customer’s testimonials gives you an idea how serious we are about giving our customers only the best roof and roofing services in the area. We stand by our reputation. We are reputable, affordable roofing company that will only use the highest quality materials.
Call us today or fill out our easy Contact Us form. We do your roof right the first time. Don’t be scammed by unreliable and dishonest roofing companies, storm chasers and fraudulent Insurance Adjusters.
Why don’t you give us a call today?
Call Northwest Roofing at:
(817)439.3065 or (817)614.1630