How Floridians Can Avoid Scams When Rebuilding Homes After Hurricanes
December 16, 2022
Following hurricanes, tornadoes, and other natural disasters, impacted residents rightfully feel anxious to get their homes repaired quickly. But as a homeowner, that sense of urgency, combined with the high demand for roofers and remodelers, may make you more vulnerable to scam artists who take advantage of desperate situations to make quick cash before skipping town with your insurance money.
As you recover from the storm, keep these tips in mind to avoid getting swindled:
1. Start with your insurance company – Don’t get your home repaired before having it assessed by your insurance company. Skipping this step could lead to your claim being denied. Your insurance company may be able to provide a list of recommended contractors. NICB also cautions against allowing a contractor to interpret your insurance policy.
3. Check references – While it’s tempting to hire a roofer quickly, take the time to check their reviews on Google, Yelp, and other sites, and consider using tools with approved contractors, like Angi (formerly Angie’s List). The Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association also offers a searchable list of member contractors on its website.
4. Be wary of steep discounts or zealous promises – If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At times of high demand, it’s unlikely that suppliers or installers are offering products and services at significant cost savings.
5. Get multiple bids and get everything in writing – The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recommends getting at least three bids. In addition, NICB advises to “get everything in writing. Cost, work to be done, time schedules, guarantees, payment schedules, and other expectations should be detailed and itemized.”
When you do begin working with a reputable roofer, that is a good time to talk to them about upgrading. Products from Westlake Royal Roofing Solutions like Newpoint™ Concrete Tile, Unified Steel™ Stone-Coated Roofing, US Tile® Clay Roofing, and DaVinci® Roofscapes composite roofing are designed and tested to withstand severe Florida weather.
For more information, tips, and a list of certified roofing contractors in Florida, visit the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association at www.floridaroof.com.