Roofing scams are on the rise! While roofs are one of the costliest components of your home, so are the effects of being a victim of a roofing scam. Falling prey to fraudulent roofing contractors can make your insurance rates go through the roof and can significantly jeopardize your financial stability. Fraudsters tend to target the elderly, but anyone can get scammed, especially if you aren’t aware of some common roofing scam tactics.
Some Common Red Flags to Avoid, but Not Limited to:
If your roof sustains damage due to severe weather conditions, you know how expensive it can be for repairs or replacement. Below are some common tactics used by fraudulent contractors.
Exaggerating/Creating Damages- Be wary of someone who shows up at your door wanting to do a roof inspection and offering the cheapest rate around. Fraudsters are known for getting on the roof and creating damages that were never there, exaggerating damages, or inflating the costs to repair/replace to put money in their pockets.
Insurance Fraud- If anyone claims to get you a new roof paid for by your insurance company, (including your deductible) before the claim is filed, you are most likely being scammed. Scammers can increase the cost of the estimate given to the insurance company and then pocket the balance of the actual repairs. This can result in high insurance premiums, prosecution, or having your claim result in a denial due to fraud and misrepresentation.
“Storm Chasers”- When immanent weather strikes, storm chasers “chase” down vulnerable people who are anxiously needing roof repairs. They typically go door to door leaving flyers with a promise to fix your roof quickly at a cheap price. What you may not know is their work is typically substandard as are the materials they use.
Request for Payment Before Work Begins- Never pay a large down payment or an entire cost for repairs before the work begins. Many times, these fraudsters take your money and leave town with no work done or partial repairs.
Substandard Materials- Many times the estimate looks good initially, but what you may not know is the fraudulent roofer will use shoddy materials to repair your roof. You may end up with a “band-aid” repair, but the underlying issue that needs to be addressed is still present. Cheaper isn’t always better in the long run.
Lower Roofing Estimates- Going with the cheapest rate may be tempting; however, that rate may start low, but once the work begins, these fraudulent contractors start adding hidden costs, jacking up the price you originally thought to be so good. A reputable roofing contractor shouldn’t add in higher material costs as the job progresses.
Key Tips on Avoiding Roofing Scams and Keeping Your Insurance Rates from Going Through the Roof
- If your roof becomes damaged from a covered loss (storm related), immediately alert your local Alabama independent insurance agent.
- Be wary of anyone who shows up at your door (unsolicited) wanting to do roofing repairs at a “cheap” rate.
- Get multiple estimates from reputable roofing contractors before agreeing to one.
- Do your homework! Check for complaints at the BBB (Better Business Bureau) before choosing a contractor.
- Never let someone who randomly shows up at your house do a roof inspection.
- Never pay a large deposit or “in-full” before work is complete.
- Be wary of “high-pressure” tactics from potential roofing contractors.
- Get a written, detailed contract before any work begins.
- Avoid contracts with blanks in them.
- Never sign a work of completion statement until the job is complete and you are 100% satisfied.
Being victimized and scammed can be devastating on many levels so being informed of common roofing scams can help protect you and your home. If you have any questions or concerns regarding roofing scams, possible insurance fraud on behalf of a contractor, or any roof damages you may have, contact us at Burkett & Associates at 256-704-7400.