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Question DetailsAsked on 10/24/2014

Should you report a Roofing contractor to Attorney General who refuses to provide a writen estimate?

There was a roofing replacement company that knocked on my door offering a free roof inspection do to homes in neighborhood reporting wind and hell damage. When I asked about cost of replacement they responded with we work with your insurance company on that.. I agreed to inspection and signed something for them to work with my insurance company..after sleeping on it I resending that authorization and politely asked for a written estimate and would compare with others after my insurance company gets back with me. The contractors response started off with "Thanks, but no thanks..we want nothing to do with insurance fraud" that went on about cases.. but my thought was you should always get an estimate in writing regardless if you are paying or going through your insurance company.

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Read through what you signed - and be aware you have a 3 day no-fault cancellation period in many states for this type of door-to-door storm-chaser contract. I suspect you signed an exclusive contract giving them full authority to act on your behalf as your agent and receive the payment - a very bad thing to do on general principles.


Read through the 5 or so links right below this question about this, and maybe talk to your insurance company about whether they have had issues or complaints with this company - could be legit, but in many cases tis sort of document is opening the door to a nightmare, particularly if not with a local, long-term company, because there are scammers and even organized gypsy families that travel the country chasing tornadoes and hurricanes and such running siding and roof damage repair scams.


IF you have any doubts, talk to an attorney ASAP about possibly voiding the contract. If it did not specify a price or completion date it may be voidable due to not having the essential elements of a contract. Either way, it may be cancellable on the grounds you did not understand what you were signing - that you thought it was only an authorization for them to work with the insurance companuy on developing an estimate of damages, not a contract - which it might be limited to, if legit.


Because you say you "signed something" I suspect you signed an assignment of rights - which means not only does the contractor act as your agent with the insurance company (making you potentially liable for any insurance fraud hecommits), but also means you probably signed away the right to receive the insurance check(which will go directly to him instead) - so he could then certify job completion to the insurance company and take the check and run - leaving you with an insurance company coming after you for the payment amount plus legal costs as insurance fraud because the work was not done but they made payment on YOUR certification, cancelling of your insurance and putting it into the insruance company database as fraud (which means you cannot get ANY insurance in the future), plus of course no roof repair done even if you actually had damage.


Do NOT let this slide - may be legit, but read the document and talk to an attorney ASAP if in the least doubt.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

0
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Thank you for your answer.. I did cxl the next day after I slept on it and realized something was not right. The email they sent me got me wondering if I was wrong to ask for an estimate first. Appreciate you confirming that I was on the right track over my concern with this companies business practice.

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9347417

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Glad you were able to get out of a potentially bad situation - hope it was not actually legit and we did the contractor a disservice but hey - you need to look out for your own interests in the long run, and a LOT of these type door-knocker repair offers are crooked so you have to protect yourself. Unfortunately, the contractor saying they wanted nothing to do with insurance fraud could have been an honest contractor saying that and meaning it - but the con artists also use that type of phrasing to make themselves look angelic, and I don't see how there would be anything fraudulent about getting competitive quotes for the work, so I suspect that was a phrase intended to give you a warm fuzzy feeling about them.


If you truly think it was crooked you could contact your insurance company and Attorney General's office of consumer fraud - just be sure to say you think it was questionable - do not ACCUSE the company of fraud unless you are positive it was a scam.


Now - you are down to whether you actually have any roof damage. If you or maybe a family member are up to getting up on your roof to inspect it then good, otherwise a local long-term roofer with good reviews would likely charge from zero to about $75 for an inspection. Most will inspect for free and give estimate if you suspect damage, but if you want just a checkup inspection and say nothing about suspecting damage and just say it has been awhile since it was inspected and pay the $75 or so you are likely to get a more honest answer, because he is not expecting to find damage in that case. You can also tell quite a bit with a pair of binoculars standing in the yard or maybe in a couple of friendly neighbor's yards or upstairs windows to see what the roof condition is. Just getting up on a ladder at the roof edge several places on each face will also let you see nost serious problems. Also, of course, if you have an accessible attic check for any sign of leakage on the underside of the roof sheathing and on the top of the insulation (matting or hardened drip dimples or wet/mildewy/stained insulation).


If you have torn off or folded over shingles, sections where the shingles are arched up like they started to lift off but did not quite get torn off, cracked or broken corner shingles from hail, singles torn through at nails or staples, etc then you will need to get a roofer on your own - your insurance company might help with this, or get recommendations from neighbors or friends, or Search the List and check through reviews to get oneor more good sounding ones to bid your job.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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