Roofing and Hurricane Scams are prevalent all over America, these scams however are not limited to just when hurricanes strike. In the event of hurricanes, there is always a rise in these types of scams. Now you might be asking yourself what are Hurricane Scams exactly? These scams are where roofing companies attempt to fraud home-owners or their insurance companies of money by requesting payment and fleeing or by performing sub-standard work respectively.
How Does It Work?
The scam occurs in various forms, some as simple as roofing companies over quoting the damage done to your house to the contractors physically damaging your roof to make the damage seem worse than it is. There are also cases where contractors will approach you and ask for a cash deposit or to be paid up-front for work and then just take your money and disappear without performing any work. A more malicious and difficult to spot form of this scam is where a roofing company contractor will ask you to sign documentation such as assignment of benefits forms which essentially revokes your right to deal with your own insurance company and all insurance claim checks are sent directly to the roofing company. The roofing companies then proceed to subcontract the job for less money which generally leads to rush jobs or the use of sub-standard materials. This is because the roofing company gets your insurance claims directly and they will generally cut corners where ever they can in order to make more money off of your insurance claim.
Steps to Take to Protect Yourself from Being Scammed by Dodgy Roofing Companies
First and foremost, should you be a victim of hurricane or roofing damage, you should never pay a roofing company or sign a contract of a repair with any person who just shows up at your door. Also, beware of any contractor who is eager to file the insurance paperwork and claims on your behalf. Rather wait for your insurance to send a consultant to assess the damage done to your house or roof and deal with your insurance yourself.
- Check and make sure that any contractor or roofer you hire is licensed and insured.
- Verify their website as well as their physical address and check to see if they are a member of a home builder’s association with a reputable background.
- For an extra precautionary measure, be sure to have any and all cost estimates, time schedules, work to be completed, and other agreements with a contractor in writing.
- Get at least three different quotes for any repair job so as to insure you are being charged a fair price for your repair.
- Ensure that when you pay a contractor you make the payment to the company and never to the contractor’s personal account.
- Never pay in cash for any repairs, be sure to make any payments using a credit card so that should you fall victim to fraud you can have the charges reverse.
With the above information, you should be able to spot a hurricane scam. However, scammers always attempt to exploit loop-holes and come up with new and clever methods in order to scam people. So, when dealing with roofing contractors after a hurricane or heavy storm you should always be wary of potential scams. Even if you think you’ve heard them all, there is always a new scam around the corner. This said, you should always trust your gut when engaging with roofing companies, should you have any doubts then find a new contractor. If you are having second thoughts about a contractor which you hired then you have the right to cancel your contract with them within three days provided you signed it in your home, a restaurant, or convention center. The best way to stay ahead of any roofing company scam is to stay knowledgeable about the topic at hand. This will allow you to see through most of the scams and prevent a scammer from taking advantage of you. That said, be sure to check out rooftop tips blog to stay informed about roofing.