“Discounted” or “Free” Roofing Work is Against the Law in Colorado
Roofing Companies paying for clients’ deductibles is illegal in Colorado. It is insurance fraud. In 2012, Governor Hickenlooper and the Senate passed Senate Bill 38 clearly specifying that discounting a roof deductible for clients in any way is illegal. Senate Bill 38
Red Flags Of Roofing Con-Artists & Insurance Fraud
Roofs are among the most expensive components of a house. It is no wonder, then, that while most roofing contractors are honest and reputable, fraudsters will commonly use roof repair and replacement as a means to swindle unsuspecting homeowners. Even worse, in the aftermath of major storms or catastrophe, unscrupulous contractors will use the opportunity to prey upon already vulnerable consumers. Common roofing cons include:
- False promises: Scammers will say anything to get homeowners to sign on the dotted line, including guaranteeing an insurance claim prior to approval from the insurance company.
- Insisting on payment upfront: Some dishonest contractors will insist upon full payment in advance and never complete, or even start, the job.
- Lie about, exaggerate, or create damage: In hopes of a larger payday, shady contractors will state damage exists where none does, exaggerate the scope of damage and necessary repair, or even purposely damage roofs to make it appear that it sustained damage from a weather event.
- Sudden costs: Another scheme by unethical roofers is, once the job has started, claiming that unforeseen damage or increases in material cost have come up and demanding additional money. (As a caveat, roof decking cannot be seen prior to tearing off the shingles and may legitimately need replacement, but the replacement costs should be detailed in the contract.)
Please do not be tricked into an illegal scam that can have serious consequences to you, the homeowner. All Colorado roofing companies are aware of what is legal and what is illegal, but sadly, many still feel they are above the law and that it does not apply to them.
How To Protect Yourself
There are many scams out there, but they are all variations on insurance fraud. Don’t let anyone on your roof without doing your homework. Here are 9 questions you should ask a roofing contractor.
- Ask for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax identification number and, where required, a business license.
- Insist on seeing copies of the contractor’s liability insurance coverage and workers’ compensation certificates. Make sure the coverages are in effect during the job.
- Request client references and a list of completed projects. Call these clients to find out whether they were satisfied. Or, look online for reviews.
- Check to see whether the contractor is properly licensed and/or bonded. Call Colorado’s licensing board for specific requirements (where applicable).
- Insist on a written proposal and examine it for a complete description of the work and specifications, including approximate start and completion dates and payment procedures.
- Check to see whether the contractor is a member of any local, state, regional or national roofing industry associations, such as NRCA.
- Call your local Better Business Bureau to check for any complaints that have been filed.
- Ask the contractor to explain their project supervision and quality-control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge, how many workers will be required, and the estimated time of completion.
- Request a roofing warranty. Carefully read and understand it and watch for provisions that would void it. Keep a healthy skepticism about the lowest bid. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, for insurance claims, the price is irrelevant to your choice of a roofing contractor, since insurance fixes the price of all materials and labor. Professionalism, reputation, and quality workmanship should weigh heavily in your decision.