07 Mar HOW HOMEOWNERS CAN AVOID THE ROOFING & INSURANCE CLAIM SCAMS
The DFW roofing industry is crawling with hundreds upon hundreds of self-pro-claimed roofing experts and general contractors. Most of whom are really only commission sales people in disguise or middlemen hoping to cheat you out of all your insurance claims money.
Every year, countless homeowners fall victim to roofing scams around the country. Nowhere more prevalent than the DFW area. You need to make certain you do not fall victim to these types of scams.
The #1 problem? Homeowners! Yes, That’s right. Homeowners are actually doing this to themselves. Most Homeowners either simply do not understand the roofing insurance claims process or feel they just don’t have the time or desire to mess with it.
So….out of fear, laziness or lack of time in the day, many are agreeing to hand over their entire claims to a contractor. This is a huge mistake. You are better off just throwing your money right out the front door.
In Texas alone, insurance claim specialists claiming to be roofers are targeting more and more victims each year. Which in turn is only raising all of our insurance rates and leaving a trail of inferior roof replacements behind with mediocre warranties.
How do you protect yourself against these roofing scams?
You should be aware of several red flags. Here are our top 3 most common and basic rules to follow that will immediately eliminate most scammers:
1. Contractors who show up unannounced.
Legitimate contractors will never knock on your door or call you claiming to be in your area offering free roof inspections. Any one that does this is a marketing team or a sales team hired to get you to say yes to a free roof inspection. If they can get you to say yes to a free roof inspection, they will get paid for setting up the appointment.
Their next goal is to send out a sales person to your home to convince you to file an insurance claim and to let them handle everything on your behalf. BOOM! They just won!
Convincing you that claims are hard and that time is of the essence, they corner unsuspecting homeowners into immediately hiring them to take over the insurance claim.
This is a very smart and sneaky sales trick. Never sign anything or agree to hire a contractor without meeting and comparing at least 3 separate contractors in total.
2. Contractors who ask to meet with your insurance company or who ask to see your insurance papers.
Contractors that do this should be asked to leave the property immediately. They are attempting to see how much you’ve been paid by your insurance company instead of providing you a written estimate of their own. This is always a clear indication that you are not dealing with an actual hands on roof installer with your best interest in mind.
3. Contractors who request money up-front.
This is a Biggy. No contractor should ever expect for a homeowner to pay any money upfront in the world that we live in today. If they can’t understand your reluctance, hire someone else. Never for any reason go against your gut regarding paying a contractor upfront.
Beware of The Roofing and Insurance Contractor Scams
Following these top 3 rules right from the very beginning should prevent you from doing business with scammers and put you on the right track.
Here are a few more signs that you may not be dealing with an actual hands on roofing company with your best interest in mind.
These are are all “foot in the door techniques” and tricks that scammer companies use to get into your homes and ultimately take over your claim.
The Free Roof Inspection
Nearly all roofing companies offer complimentary roof inspections. However, remember what we mentioned earlier about door knockers or contractors that come to your home or call you uninvited. Actual roof installers are busy working. They don’t knock on doors or make telemarketing calls.
No legitimate roofing company will ever come to your home or call you uninvited.
After every hail and wind storm scammers will start going door to door seeking potential clients. They will offer to inspect your roof for free. After the inspection they claim to have observed damage that warrants a new roof or major repair.
Complaints filed with the BBB report contractors intentionally causing damage to their roofs during the inspection and/or showing them pictures of other peoples roof.
Nearly all of the complaints reported the sales person being very polite, knowledgeable, and helpful. However, no matter how professional they seemed, by the end of the meeting they were all encouraged to submit an insurance claim and allow them to handle everything.
Roofers Who Create a Sense of Urgency
Any urgency at all should be considered a warning sign. Pretending that you only have a limited time to make a claim and that they need to get started right away is a sure way to get you to make a quick decision. Another smart and sneaky sales trick that has proven to be very successful.
Asking You To Sign Anything.
Never fall for this one! Asking you to sign a work order or “contingency agreement” allowing them to meet with your adjuster on your behalf.
It is highly recommended that homeowners handle their own insurance claims and keep their personal insurance information private.
Roofers with No Local Address
Ads that claim to service all of DFW is usually a sign that they do not have an actual office address. Always search the name of your contractor to see if they have an actual brick and mortar location.
It’s your home. It protects your family members and all of your belongings. You will need to be able to get in touch with your contractor in the event your roof begins to leak or show signs of trouble within your warranty period. Avoiding your calls without an address lets them off the hook. If you cant find them, you cant sue them.
Most fraudulent roofing roofing contractors always use a P.O. Box address, which is a huge red flag.
Roofers Avoiding Written Estimates
This is a big one!
ONLY SCAMMERS WANT TO AVOID GIVING WRITTEN ESTIMATES.
Scammers will always want to avoid providing you with a written estimate of their own.
WHY? Well, for a couple reasons.
Why roofing scammers don’t want to give you an estimate.
- They are not a true hands-on roofing company and simply are not experienced enough or have no idea how to write a real roof estimate of their own.
- They want all of your insurance money, not some of it. By giving you an honest estimate upfront, they risk under-pricing the job for less then what your insurance company paid you.
Scammers have been trained by the companies they are working for to “TAKE OVER YOUR INSURANCE CLAIM”.
That is their #1 goal.
Taking over your claim is the quick sale and pays the most money.
An actual hands-on legitimate roofing company should always be able to prepare a thorough and detailed written estimate of their own and should never ask to see your insurance papers.
Roofers Asking For Advance Deposit
When a roofer requests a deposit up front, that is another huge red flag.
Complaints filed with the BBB report roofers being very smooth and convincing regarding deposits. Most simply took the insurance check and vanished or strung them along, demanding more and more money as time went on. Others admitted to spending all the money on other projects.
No matter how great they sound or how much you like them, it is just not worth the risk. Find someone else.
No established or legitimate roofing company with any real experience will ask you to pay anything until all of the work is 100% complete.
When A Roofing Company Uses Subcontractors
Fraudulent roofers will have no choice but to use subcontractors to complete the job. They are simply a middlemen. They are not the actual installer that will be doing the work. Once they job is sold they will then hire a 3rd party subcontractor to do the work.
Subcontractors are typically not well trained and are not properly insured, if insured at all.
They also have no vested interest in your home and have nothing to lose if the project is poorly done or they decide to simply walk off the job in the middle of the project.
In some cases, the subcontractors will not even get paid by the middleman you hired. If that happens, they will be legally entitled to file a lien on your property.
Contractors Who Claim to Maximize Your Claim
“We will make your insurance company pay the maximum amount”.
A lot of complaints reported this sounding very tempting. But why? The contractor is keeping all your insurance money! Not You.
Maximizing your claim will do nothing for you!
You should always ask every contractor you are considering for hire to provide you with a written estimate of their own without your insurance involved. This will keep everyone honest and out of your business. Never let them take control of your insurance money.
Honest Roof – Your Trusted Roofing Expert
HonestRoof.com is a family run business serving the entire DFW area since 1954 with over 67 years of roofing industry experience.
We have thousands of happy customers who have all given us 100% 5-star reviews with ZERO complaints ever filled against us.
Our expertise and exclusive use of high quality Owens Corning and GAF roofing materials guarantee a roof your family will enjoy for many years.
We are licensed and fully insured for your complete protection and offer free same day roof estimate 24/7, 365.
All projects are backed by an un-matched 20 Year Leak Free Labor Warranty Guarantee. We never use subcontractors and all work is completed by our own in-house factory trained and certified HonestRoof.com installers.
We are very proud to be an A+ accredited member of the Fort Worth Better Business Bureau and boast the highest customer ratings you’ll find anywhere.
Give us a shot. You’ll be glad you did!
If you have any questions about your roof or if you are not sure how to go about getting roof work done, give us a call at (817)-966-2863 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org