How to Avoid Roofing Fraud

roofing-insurance-fraud-scams-300x106Roofing fraud is something that comes much too often for people living in the United States. It is something that happens so often that a bill has been proposed in the state of Texas to help consumers identify roofing fraud. If the legislation was passed, consumers would have access to valuable information to help them choose a roofing company. People would be able to know whether or not their roofers have insurance, an address, and contact information. These things are very important, and often avoided by roofing providers because of one simple fact: Consumers need a physical address to be able to file a lawsuit against the roofing company. Texas state Representative, Kenneth Sheets says that Texas is a prime location for a “rip-off roofer” to work.

Most roofing scams can fall into one of the five following categories:

  1. The roofing company signs on to replace a roof, however they require a down payment before they will start the work. The company then claims they need the down payment to pay for materials or labor and then never returns the down payment. Scammers often use this tactic because it takes a long time to go through a mortgage company.
  2. The roofing company will claim to be doing a free inspection and will fabricate damage on your roof or show you damage on someone else’s roof and claim it is on yours. This happens much more often for senior citizens as they are unable to go and inspect the roof themselves.
  3. They will go to an area that had been hit by wind or hail damage and find people who need roof repairs. They will then do the lowest costing quality of work possible and sell it off as a professional roofing job, at the same cost as an actual professional job.
  4. The company will attempt to get the homeowner to sign a contract before they consult other companies for their rates. They will usually raise the price and make claims that are dishonest to attempt to get them to sign.
  5. Once the roofing repair has already begun, the roofing company will bring up unforeseen costs and unexpected problems. In the most serious cases, the roofer will completely take down the roof and threaten to stop work if the consumer doesn’t make additional payments.
So remember these simple tips:
  1. Don’t just hand over your insurance check. Go through a mortgage company.
  2. Inspect your roof before you call a roofer. Take photos for evidence.
  3. Make sure your roofer has a valid license.
  4. Don’t let the roofer strong arm you into a deal, think it over without the roofer being there before you make your final decision.
  5. Read through the contract and make sure there is a clause that addresses in what circumstances the price may go up.
Always shop around and consider your options. You wouldn’t buy a new washing machine or car without having seen any of the others would you? Do your research yourself and don’t let a company scam you.