Unfortunately, there are some less-than-honest roofing companies out there. You might think you’re too smart or skeptical to fall for a roofing scam, and you may be correct. However, the existence of these unscrupulous roofers is still harmful to you as a Florida homeowner. Roofing fraud raises the cost of homeowners’ insurance. When insurance companies pay for fraudulent claims, they raise their rates — for everyone.
To fight against roofing scams, we all need to work together. The Florida Legislature is taking major actions to reduce fraud and keep insurance rates reasonable. Honest, responsible roofing companies, including Kelly Roofing, are also working to stop scams. And you, as a homeowner, can do your part by learning to spot roofing fraud.
How Roofers Defraud Customers
Florida has had more than its share of hurricanes over the past few years. Of course, these hurricanes cause roof damage. Following each hurricane, “storm chasing” roofers roll into town. These companies often talk homeowners into roof replacements, when really all they need are repairs. Then, if anything goes wrong with the new roof, the homeowner is unable to contact the roofing company for remediation.
Previously, in Florida, there was a law stating that if a roof suffered more than 25% damage, it had to be fully replaced. Less-than-honest roofers were telling homeowners their homes had 25% damage and had to be replaced. They were then billing insurance companies for a full roof replacement. In reality, many of these roofs could have been repaired or maintained at a much lower cost.
How to Identify Roofing Scams
To avoid roofing scams, steer clear of any roofer who starts asking questions about your homeowners insurance policy. If they insist they can get you a “free roof,” that is also a sign of a scam. You’re still responsible for your insurance deductible if your home needs a new roof due to storm damage.
Dishonest roofers may insist they can save you from having to pay your deductible if you sign an AOB, or Assignment of Benefits. Never agree to sign this document. An AOB essentially signs over your rights as a policy holder and gives those rights to the roofing company. If you sign an AOB, you lose your right to decide whether you’re happy with the roofing work. Dishonest roofers will have customers sign an AOB, install a faulty roof, and then refuse to stand behind their work. Before long, your so called “free roof” is leaking again and the roofer refuses to fix it.
Another way to avoid roofing scams is to reach out to your insurance company after a storm. They’ll explain your policy and your options. They’ll tell you what’s covered, what’s not covered, and what your deductible is. They can give you a list of responsible, legally compliant roofing companies in the area.
How Florida Lawmakers Are Fighting Roofing Scams
The Florida Legislature has recently passed several laws to help protect residents and insurance companies from roofing scams. First, they eliminated the 25% rule. Now, if a roof has more than 25% damage, the homeowner can choose whether to have the roof repaired or replaced.
The Florida Legislature also established a grant program that provided $10 million to homeowners in the High Velocity Hurricane Zone. These funds can be used to harden off homes against hurricanes. This helps prevent the damage that most often leads to costly insurance claims.
Finally, Florida passed laws preventing insurance companies from dropping customers with roofs older than 15 years. Now, homeowners can have an inspector certify that their roof has another 5 years of life left. This should prevent a lot of early, unnecessary roof replacements. It also helps make long-lasting roofs, like metal and Tesla Solar Roofs, more appealing to homeowners.
How Kelly Roofing Helps Prevent Roof Fraud
Kelly Roofing helps customers avoid roof fraud with honesty and education. We are happy to answer all customer questions and tell you exactly why we are making certain recommendations for your roof. We won’t tell you that you need a replacement when repairs will fit the bill.
Kelly Roofing also conducts certification inspections on roofs that have reached 15 years of age. We can harden off roofs to help protect them from storm damage. Additionally, we love installing long-lived roofs, like the Tesla Solar Roof. These roofs can be re-certified again and again, giving you decades of protection. Insurance fraud has long been a problem in the Florida roofing industry. Luckily, Florida lawmakers have acted responsibly to protect both homeowners and insurers. If we all do our part, we can help keep homeowners insurance and roofing more affordable. Contact Kelly Roofing if you’re looking for an honest roofer in South Florida. With more than 50 years in the industry, we’re confident in our customer-first approach.