When Hurricane Michael hit the Florida panhandle in October, 2018, the Category 4 storm caused vast devastation to the Sunshine State. Unfortunately, in the aftermath of a disaster, the incidence of fraud rises as unscrupulous individuals seek to take advantage of your vulnerable situation. Beware of roofing scams in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and follow these simple tips to ensure that your claim is filed properly and that your roof is repaired according to building code.
Beware of individuals posing as FEMA contractors
It is not unusual for a building contractor to appear at your doorstep, stating that they were sent by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Do not let them in. FEMA does not hire specific contractors to repair homes or make repair recommendations, nor do they send building or repair contractors to visit homeowners. If you have been contacted by someone posing as a FEMA contractor, report the incident to your local authorities.
Have your roof inspected by a licensed professional
Hire a licensed professional ‘ a building official, engineer, or architect ‘ to inspect your roof and provide a written report on what damage has occurred and what needs repair.
Hire a licensed building contractor
Many contractors or handymen will offer to repair your roof damage at a lower cost than your other estimates, or promise to take care of the damage quickly. Always do your homework on any contractor that you hire to do work on your home. Specifically:
- Verify that the contractor is licensed locally
- Confirm that the contractor carries general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance, which is required of contractors in Florida
- Obtain several written estimates
- Check references and make sure they are reliable, visiting the location where work was done whenever possible
- Require a written contract and read through the terms carefully
- Check for any hidden fees in your contract, including cancellation fees
- Never pay for the whole project in advance
- Only pay up to half the contract price in advance and obtain a written receipt for your payment
- Do not pay any remaining balance until the project is completed and you are satisfied with the work that was done
Have a question about your roof damage claim? Give us a call
At Ged Lawyers, LLP, we understand how complicated the hurricane insurance claims process can be. And when you are faced with the urgent need to repair your roof, it can be tempting to hire someone who promises they can get the job done fast and for less money. If you have questions regarding your roof damage claim, give us a call. Our experienced disaster recovery attorneys are happy to answer your questions and guide you through the insurance claims process. We can be reached at 844-443-3529 or online.