Popular Roofing Scams Homeowners Need to Avoid
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.
Requiring Full Payment in Advance
If a roofing contractor asks 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.
Roofers Pretending to be 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.
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.
Paid Insurance 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.
The last one is door knockers. Do not let a stranger that you did not call climb up on your roof. Just say no to door knockers. 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.
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 honest, affordable and will only use the highest quality of roofing materials on your home.
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, call Northwest Roofing instead.
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Call Northwest Roofing at:
817.439.3065 or 817.614.1630