Consumer Advisory: Be on the lookout for roofing fraud with #NoRoofScams

Recent hail storms can bring out unscrupulous contractors.

DENVER (August 5, 2016) – With this week’s severe hail storms in both the Colorado Springs and northern Colorado areas, the Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), reminds consumers that fraudulent roofing services is an issue to be aware of, and to look for the No Roof Scams campaign and #NoRoofScams to get valuable tips and information.  

No Roof Scams helps to sound an alarm during severe weather season about the spike in roofing fraud, and arms Colorado homeowners with information to protect themselves against being a roofing scam victim. Per the National Insurance Crime Bureau, over the last three years Colorado is second in the country for claims filed due to hail storm damage, and many of these claims include roof damage.  And the highest number of consumer inquiries to the Better Business Bureau of Denver-Boulder involve selecting reputable roofing contractors.

While most contractors are honest and reputable, some are not. Storms may bring out unscrupulous roofing contractors looking to scam consumers.  They make false promises, insist on full payment before the work is complete, and may even create damage where none occurred.  

The DOI reminds consumers to be on their guard for fraudulent roofing contractors and to follow these ten tips.

  1. Don’t hire a contractor who knocks on your door following a storm. Most legitimate roofing contractors do not conduct business this way.
  2. Additionally, be wary of public adjusters who knock on your door. A public adjuster is generally not needed for simple roof damage claims. If you choose to hire one, verify their license with the Colorado Division of Insurance, as well as check for references and review and understand all documents involved.
  3. Be sure to get estimates from more than one contractor. Look for well-established, licensed, insured and bonded roofing professionals with a federal tax identification number and a permanent address.
  4. Ask for a contractor’s license number and confirm with your city or county building department that the license number was issued by them and is current.
  5. Require references that specifically include other homes in your area, and check them.  Be sure to contact the Better Business Bureau to check for complaints filed against any company you are considering hiring.
  6. Contact the Colorado Roofing Association (CRA), which maintains a current list of licensed, properly insured, professional contractors who have committed to abiding by the CRA Code of Ethics, and have passed a nationally recognized exam that addresses roofing work on residential and/or commercial property.
  7. Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away. Never sign a contract with blanks or statements like “see insurance estimate” - fraudulent contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
  8. Contractors CAN prepare an estimate for you, discuss that estimate with you, and answer the insurance company’s questions about that estimate. They CANNOT help you adjust or prepare the claim for the insurance company, nor negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.  
  9. Make sure you review and understand all documents sent to your insurance carrier.
  10. Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until all the work is completed.

Follow #NoRoofScams this summer to learn more about how consumers can avoid being the victim of unethical roofing contractors and find reputable roofing contractors.  Visit AskDORA.colorado.gov for more information and resources about how to protect yourself as a consumer.

No Roof Scams is a campaign to educate Colorado consumers about protecting themselves from roofing fraud.  It is a joint effort between the Colorado Division of Insurance, the Better Business Bureau of Denver / Boulder, the Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, the Colorado Roofing Association, the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, the Property Casualty Insurance Association of America, and the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.
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The Colorado Division of Insurance (DOI), part of the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) regulates the insurance industry and assists consumers and other stakeholders with insurance issues.  Visit dora.colorado.gov/insurance for more information or call 303-894-7499 / toll free 800-930-3745
 
DORA is dedicated to preserving the integrity of the marketplace and is committed to promoting a fair and competitive business environment in Colorado. Consumer protection is our mission. Visit dora.colorado.gov for more information or call 303-894-7855 / toll free 1-800-886-7675
 

Media Contact:
Vincent Plymell
Division of Insurance
p: 303-894-2261 | c: 303-910-9614