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How to Avoid a Storm Damage Scam

On Behalf of | Dec 5, 2017 | Preparing For Hail Storms

Was your roof recently damaged by hail or another type of storm in West Central Florida? Whether your home already sustained damage during a storm, or if you have concerns about roof damage caused by storms in Florida, it is important to learn more about scams where “contractors” offer to repair your roof. Be aware of scams so that you are not the victim of fraud that can occur following a storm. When your home is damaged, you can experience a range of emotions, from frustration to deep concern about whether the damage will be covered by your homeowners’ insurance. Usually, this is when homeowners are the most vulnerable and the targets of scammers.

According to a news release from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), “severe storms can bring out the worst in people, especially unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs.” This article is designed to give you a “heads up” and assist you in learning what you need to know in order to avoid being a victim of a roofing scam following hail storm damage in West Central Florida.

How Do Roof Damage Scams Happen After a Storm?

How do these type of scams happen and what do they typically involve? Most often, according to the news release, scams can involve one or more of the following:

● Individuals posing as roofing contractors;

● “Contractors” making false promises to homeowners about repairs;

● “Contractors” insisting that homeowners make full payment prior to the start or completion of the roof repair; and/or

● “Contractors” creating damage to a roof when there was no storm damage in the first place.

To be clear, in some instances, individuals claiming to be roofing contractors visit homes of individuals who have sustained roof damage in a storm. In other situations, roofing contractors who actually have the knowledge and ability to repair a roof in the aftermath of a hail storm might attempt to scam homeowners. This does not mean that any and all roofing contractors are scam artists. Indeed, as the news release emphasizes, “most contractors are honest and reputable,” yet homeowners need to be aware of, and try to identify, others who are not as honest or reputable.

Avoiding a Hail Storm Damage Repair Scam in West Central Florida

What can homeowners do to ensure that they do not become the victims of a hail or storm damage repair scam after a severe storm hits? The news release suggests some of the following, all of which can apply to homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area and the rest of West Central Florida:

● Seek out a contractor who is well-established in the area with positive reviews;

● Only hire someone to repair your roof who is licensed, insured, and bonded as a roofing contractor, and check the contractor’s license number with your city or county;

● Ask to see the contractor’s certificates of insurance, and contact the insurance company to make sure that your insurance coverage applies to roof repair work;

● Ensure that the roofing contractor you hire has a federal tax identification number in addition to a permanent address where she or he can be located;

● Determine whether the roofing contractor is registered to do business in Florida; and

● Never hire a roofing contractor who comes to your door after a storm since this is not a common practice for legitimate roofing professionals.

Contact a West Central Florida Hail Storm Damage Lawyer

Do you have questions about roof repair or other hail storm damage claim issues? An experienced hail storm damage lawyer in West Central Florida can speak with you today about your claim. Contact the Valrico Law Group to learn more about the services we provide to homeowners throughout the Tampa Bay area.