In recent years residential roofing and siding contractors have been coming out of the woodwork specializing in storm damage repairs. These contractors are typically known to send their sales teams out to canvass neighborhoods going door to door suggesting to homeowners that their home was hit by a hailstorm within the last year and offering free storm damage repair estimates.
Most often the contractor suggests that an entire roof replacement is necessary and that the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the cost of all the repairs. The contractor will even offer to handle the entire claim process with the insurance company on behalf of the homeowner.
Sometimes the claims are legitimate but, often the contractor is trying to sell the homeowner a new roof they do not need. Unaware of the risks involved homeowners sign a contract with the contractor to replace the roof with an assurance that the insurance policy will pay for the work. If the claim is denied or it is not paid to the full value of the contractor’s estimate, the homeowner is stuck with part or all of the bill for a new roof they didn’t need.
In the wake of fraudulent activity several states have recently passed legislation requiring contractors to provide notices, give contract termination rights to the consumer and prohibit rebating to entice homeowners to enter into contracts.
Homeowners can protect themselves by declining to sign a contract until a check is in hand, getting multiple repair estimates from reputable contractors and handling the insurance claim themselves with the assistance of their insurance agent.