“Safe Steps to avoid being Scammed”
Conservatively, fraud steals $80 billion a year across all lines of insurance. (Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimate).
Unfortunately, storms can bring out unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs. These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on full payment upfront before work is completed, and sometimes even create damage where none occurred.
While most contractors are honest and reputable, others are not. Please protect yourself. Here’s how.
Use a well-established, licensed, insured and bonded roofing professional with a federal tax identification number (EIN) and a permanent address.
* Ask them for a copy of their state issued contractor’s license.
They should have a Home Improvement License (HI) for jobs $3000-25,000. Anything over 25,000 requires a Contracting License. You can verify here at http://verify.tn.gov/ D&D has both active and in place…HI #7573 C #69615
* Ask for a copy of their Liability insurance.
When you receive it, please call to verify that the coverage is still in place. Many companies cancel after they receive a verification letter. Let's say a company is fixing your roof and a roofer falls off and hurts him or herself. If the company isn't insured, then the claim gets filed against your homeowner's insurance (very bad). If the company is insured, then the claim gets filed against the roofing company's insurance. D&D carries 2,000,000 coverage.
* Ask if they are bonded.
This means that a separate bonding company has secured money that is available to the consumer in the event they file a claim against the roofing company. This adds a next level of trust/security for the homeowner. D&D can supply our insurance certificate showing our bond in place.
* Ask for their permanent address.
What good is any verbal/written warranty, if you can’t ever find them again? Numerous guys work out of their truck and claim to be “long-term”. Do you want that gamble? Will they be in business next year? Are they even close by?
Never give large deposits prior to roof work completed.
* While some construction jobs make sense to use draws and partial payments along the way, roofing isn’t one of them. Most roofing replacements should take 3 days or less. An established roofing contractor should have funds and/or credit to carry expenses until completion. If someone asks for money upfront, SAY NO! For insurance claims, we will not ask for partial payment until completion and your satisfaction is achieved.
Be careful who you allow to speak with your Insurance Adjuster.
* Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-6-605 (2016) 62-6-605. Licensure of residential roofing services providers as public adjusters. No residential roofing services provider shall act or hold out as being a public adjuster, as defined in § 56-6-902, unless licensed as a public adjuster in accordance with title 56, chapter 6, part 9. –
* By the TN state law above, a roofing company can not act as a public adjuster on your behalf. Some roofing companies will tell you they will fight for you to get your damage paid for. Unless they are a licensed insurance adjuster, they will be breaking the law and could potentially make things worse. You are responsible by law to pay your deductible…don’t you wonder how some companies promise to pay them for you???
D&D has two fully licensed insurance adjusters on staff. They are familiar with the claims process, pricing, scope of work, and will work to answer any questions you may have. They are able to review the paperwork with you and clear up any mistakes/oversites that may occur. When your insurance company’s adjuster gets busy, mistakes do happen….not intentionally but they occur.
These are just a few very basic, main points on how to stay safe. You have every right to ask for proper verification from any company you deal with. Your roof is one of the most important pieces to your home….it protects everything else. Don’t be taken advantage of. We have seen it and our heart breaks for those people. Call us to inspect before you file a claim….you do not want to file a claim if there is no damage. Don’t allow anyone to tell you different.
Have a question?? Please reach out to us. You can ask for me personally!
Let us know how we can help you and stay safe,
David Zinn, President
D&D Renovations, INC