Too Good To Be True?

Most of us have been warned to be wary of anything that appears too good to be true. I’m here to do it again. Insurance fraud is happening on such a scale that homeowner insurance policies are being canceled by some carriers, and other carriers are requiring homeowners to replace their roof in order to have their policy renewed.

Why is this happening?

Shady contractors are chasing storms, including hurricanes and tropical storm force winds reported around the state. They also look for reports of hail. Once they identify an area they start knocking on doors. The solicitations vary, but often start with a claim that they are working to repair storm damage elsewhere in the neighborhood and they offer the homeowner a free roof inspection.

Many cannot resist ‘free’ and readily agree to such an inspection. Not surprisingly, damage is found. The door knocker then explains they can get the homeowner a new roof via an insurance claim, and they will do all the paperwork, and manage the process for the homeowner. Some even offer to cover the cost of the deductible as an enticement for the homeowner to sign an agreement.

Their contract paperwork includes an Assignment of Benefits. This assigns the payout for the claim to the contractor. At this point the homeowner has given up most of their rights related to the claim. Whatever the contractor and insurance company decide on is what will be done. The contractor’s legal team can play hard-ball, threatening to sue if the insurance company does not cover a full roof replacement – which is profitable work for the contractor.

This puts the insurance carrier in the position of paying for a roof or paying to litigate. Either way, costs are climbing quickly, and all of us are paying the price. For some carriers, it is better for them to lose the customer relationship than to maintain the relationship and bear the risk. So, homeowners are given the choice to replace their roof, at the homeowner’s expense and well before it would normally be replaced, or they lose coverage. The new roof reduces the carrier’s risk.

Hail, storms, falling tree limbs and other events legitimately damage roofs. Homeowners insurance should cover this. The Florida legislature passed SB76 during the last session in an attempt to tamp down some of these unsavory practices, while attempting to allow legitimate repair and re-roof services to continue. Some contractors filed for an injunction and SB76 is old hold pending legal review.

While this plays out, if somebody comes knocking on your door offering a free roof inspection, it would be best to turn them away.

While Mr. Handyman Serving Greater Jacksonville does not do roofing repairs, we can assist with a full range of home maintenance and repair, and home improvement projects. We do not claim we can get anything done for ‘free’ via an insurance claim, we work with you to determine the best course of action (repair Vs. replacement) and our goal is to always a satisfied customer and a solid relationship that leads to future work. This is why Mr. Handyman serving Greater Jacksonville has been recognized as the Bold City Best winner five of the last six years.

If you do not know who to call, call the company your friends and neighbors’ trust. Call Mr. Handyman.