Beware of scam to homeowners and their insurance companies utilizing the assignment-of-benefits (AOB) clauses that are in most homeowner insurance policies. According to recent reports, in Orlando roofers are contacting homeowners and falsely claiming their roof need to be replaced due to hail damage. They offer to do the work for free, but in most cases the roofs are fine and not damaged, the roofing company is simply trying to obtain an AOB from the homeowner, which allows them to bill the insurance company for work that may or may not be done. According to area experts this kind of dishonest activity is rampant in Florida with upscale neighborhoods where the average age of a roof is 18 and 20 years old being the prime targets.
Homeowners insurance does not cover the gradual wear and tear of the roof. It is designed to cover damage that is sudden and accidental, such as when a roof caves in or is destroyed due to a severe storm. While hail can certainly do severe damage to a roof, in most of these cases there is no previous record of roof damage, or even degradation. After a storm, these less than honest roofing companies show up to offer a free roof inspection to homeowners. Homeowners are asked to sign an AOB contract prior to their free roof inspection. The inspection almost always reveals severe damage (according to the dishonest roofing company), which can only be remedied via a new roof.
The work is then done before a claim is made which means any evidence regarding the old roof is no longer available. In many cases the actual work done is shoddy. Most of the roofing companies pulling this scam are from out of town and according to local law enforcement. These roofing companies partner with shady law firms to process the claim and sue the insurance company if necessary.
Consumers need to be wary as the population of Florida continues to grow, the number of lawsuits related to AOB claims also continues to grow. Unfortunately, victims of these crimes are not filing complaints as often as they should, possibly due to embarrassment of being scammed.
Here are a few tips to help avoid being scammed:
- Don’t sign any documents without fully reviewing them. If you don’t understand something, contact a lawyer.
- If a roofing company contacts you, inform your insurance company and ask for an independent inspection of your roof.
- Get several written quotes from local roofing companies.
- Ask to see their business licensing information and insurance information.
- Check with the localBBB office regarding complaints.
- Get referrals from friends and family.
- Ask for and check references for any company that you are seriously considering.
You are in safe hands with us, Whether it be for your business or your home, and you’re not sure what to do… Give us a call Don Schmidt Roofing would love to earn your trust and help you with your central Florida home/commercial roof repair or installation. Call us at 407.892.9884 today or contact us online at www.DonSchmidtRoofing.com. We are a local family owned business serving central Florida since 1988 and an Osceola county resident since 1959. Put your roofing project into the hands of a contractor you can trust.