Colorado Hail Storms Slam Homeowners

 No Roof Scams Group Offers Homeowners Key Ways to Avoid Roofing Scam Artists

Roofer Checking Hail Damage

Homeowners with roof damage following recent hail storms should take plenty of time and do their homework before hiring a roof contractor, according to a group of nonprofit, government, and business organizations sponsoring the No Roof Scams campaign to fight roofing contractor fraud in Colorado.

The recent storms in Colorado Springs, Eaton, and surrounding communities pummeled homes and businesses with hail the size of golf and tennis balls damaging thousands of roofs. Colorado is number two in the country for insurance claims filed due to property damage from hail, which makes our state a magnet for fraudulent roof contractors. These storm-chasing, fly-by-night scam artists will often make false promises, insist on full payment upfront before work is completed, and sometimes they say they’re inspecting your roof when in fact they are creating damage where none occurred.

The No Roof Scams coalition advises homeowners to avoid being victimized by fraudulent contractors by doing the following:

  • Take your time when selecting a contractor.  Many contractors use fear tactics such as telling homeowners their ceiling or roof may collapse without immediate repairs.  Don’t fall for this ploy.
  • Most legitimate local roofing contractors do not knock on doors after a storm.  This is a classic technique utilized by out-of-state contractors who have no local presence.
  • Check out contractors before hiring anyone with two of Colorado’s excellent resources.
  • Get more than one estimate; make sure any contract includes all information required by Colorado law (http://coloradoroofing.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/SB38FactSheet-20122.pdf).
  • Never pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until all the work is completed.
  • Never sign a contract with blanks or statements like “see insurance estimate, etc.” – fraudulent contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
  • Under Colorado Law a contractor cannot pay, waive or rebate the homeowner’s insurance deductible.

Organizations participating in the No Roof Scams campaign include:

  • Better Business Bureau – Denver/Boulder
  • Colorado Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
  • Colorado Division of Insurance (Department of Regulatory Agencies)
  • Colorado Roofing Association
  • Insurance Institute for Business &  Home Safety
  • National Insurance Crime Bureau
  • Property Casualty Insurance Association of America
  • Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association

Follow #NoRoofScams to learn more about how consumers can avoid being the victims of unethical roofing contractors and find reputable roofing contractors.

You’ve Been Hit with Hail, Now What?

If you spend any time in Colorado, you are bound to hear the phrase, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes”.   Colorado is famous for weather changing sporadically, and with dramatic shifts in air pressure and temperature the result can sometimes be treacherous hail.

In fact, per the National Insurance Crime Bureau, Colorado ranks second only to Texas for the number of insurance claims filed due to hail strikes on homes, property and cars in the past three years.

With the abundance of hail storms, consumers need to be weary of “storm chasers” or fraudsters that scam victims by making false promises to consumers who are looking to repair hail damage.

The Better Business Bureau offers these tips when looking to repair automobiles or roofs.

General Tips

  • Get more than one estimate.
  • Don’t be pressured in signing a contract right away or at your doorstep
  • Always check with BBB, findacompany.org and request quotes from BBB Accredited Businesses
  • If you come across a faulty business, visit bbb.org/scamtracker/denver/ to help warn others of illegal scheme or fraud

Roofers

  • Get everything in writing
    • Cost, work to be done, time schedule, payment schedule and other expectations
  • Never sign a contract with blanks
  • Wait to pay a contractor in full or sign a completion certificate until the work is truly completed
  • Avoid giving a down payment unless special materials are being ordered
  • Ask if the company uses their own workers or if they hire individual, third-party subcontractors.
    • Know exactly who is working on your roof and who is responsible if something goes wrong
  • Verify applicable licensing and permits with your city and county
  • Always ensure that before you sign a contract it meets the terms set in Colorado Senate Bill 38
    • Contractors contact information
    • Scope of work and materials provided
    • Approximate dates of service and cost of materials/service
    • Roofers surety and liability coverage insurer and contact information
    • 72 hour right to rescind
    • Contractor cannot in away way pay, waive or rebate all or part of the insurance deductible
    • Contractor will hold in trust any payment until the majority of the work is performed or materials are delivered to the residence
    • 72 hour right to rescind after the insurance claim is denied.

Automobile

  • If under warranty, follow the manufacturer’s requirements to keep your warranty in effect
  • Make sure any certificates advertised are recently obtained and then independently verify this information
  • When receiving estimate, ask the service consultant to explain all work completed
  • Be sure warranty information is included in writing on the repair order.

Hail on Roof