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Does anyone here understand Roofing companies and insurance scams? We are researching a new roof for a house we own. A friend of ours found a roofing company who told them "They can get anything covered by insurance." The roof is 15 years old and has been through a few hurricanes. Most of it's problem is old age, but there has indeed been some "windstorm damage" in the past couple years. This roofing company tells us they can get this covered as a hurricane claim (or windstorm claim, I am not sure which), and 3 other roofing companies told us there was a very slim chance of getting it covered by insurance.

I am very leery of them, and will most likely not hire them, but I thought I would try to understand how they are doing this. Can anyone shed some light on this? Are they paying a kickback to the field adjuster somehow? There is the roofing company owner, the roofing company salesman, the field adjuster, and the claims adjuster for the insurance company. Are they all in on this?? I am trying to just figure out hoe it works.

Thanks!

-Footsox
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I am very leery of them, and will most likely not hire them, but I thought I would try to understand how they are doing this. Can anyone shed some light on this? Are they paying a kickback to the field adjuster somehow? There is the roofing company owner, the roofing company salesman, the field adjuster, and the claims adjuster for the insurance company. Are they all in on this?? I am trying to just figure out hoe it works.

Thanks!

-Footsox


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Clearly something underhanded is going on so on that basis alone I would not participate even if I can't figure out their scam.

And perhaps even though they sound like they will scam the insurance company, maybe their real target is to scam you. Do they need a deposit from you to get started and promise it will be cheerfully refunded once the insurance company pays up?
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Clearly something underhanded is going on ...

I'm not as sure about that. It's certainly possible it is a scam, but it's also possible that it's a legitimate company who specializes in helping people get the insurance benefits they are paying for.

I completely agree that this would be a company to be careful with, but I'm not sure I'd immediately write them off as a scam. In the words of Ronald Regan, trust but verify.

Check out what they claim to do. Ask to visit a couple of current jobs in the area. Ask for a reference from a couple of recently completed jobs. Ask for a reference from their supplier of roofing materials. Check out their history with your state board that licenses contractors.

I'd also investigate the results of making a claim. Homeowner's insurers all subscribe to claims databases, where records of insurance claims on a house are kept. Sometimes having a claim on file will affect your insurance rates in the future. Or it might affect what insurance you can get.

For example, a few years ago, I made a claim for a tree that fell down in a storm and blocked the sidewalk and was partially into the street. Fortunately, there was no additional damages, so the only cost was for the clean up. At the next renewal, I had a little trouble getting the next policy because of the claim. It wasn't the end of the world, but it did cause a small issue. Had I known this, I might have just paid to have the tree cleaned up, as the cost was not outrageous. I would certainly feel different if the damage had been more extensive - say the tree fell on the house instead of away from it.

--Peter
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Thanks for the insight. Yes, we have dug a little deeper and found more unfavorable issues with this roofing company, so we will definitely not use them. The field claims adjuster came and got up on the roof and took photos, and measurements, etc. The roofing company guy was supposed to show up at the same time and never showed, so we figure they don't need us as a customer.

I was just interested to know how a scam like this could unfold -- would the field claims adjuster have to be "in on it" and getting a kick back? I no longer think this is a scam or the roofing guy would have showed up when he said he would. I just think they are a crappy company, so we will go on down the road. But I just thought I would try to be aware of how these scams would work. Thanks.

-Footsox
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In my part of the world, hail storms are common (1 to 2 per year). When anyone with a construction background comes to look at something at the house, its common for them to take a look at the roof and opine if the insurance company would cover it. This includes folks not actually in the roofing trade.

My 2 rules of thumb:

1) If I can clearly identify it, from ground level (house is single story) I will consider making a claim
2) If I get hail damage to vehicles parked outside, I'll make a claim on the roof.

Its not a scam in that it is so common, its priced into your policy. That said, I don't want to make an excessive number of claims and drive the cost of insurance up, so refer back to my rules of thumb.
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