They are now being called “hail horror stories”. Homeowner after homeowner is being taken by the fly by night roofing companies that swoop in after a hail storm, promising a new roof, and leave as soon as they get the first insurance check.
Karen Fox, executive director of the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association, said that roofing fraud is now a pattern: “Within 12 hours of a storm, an area can be blanketed with roofers, many from other states. After making contact with the homeowner and offering a lower price, they ask for a down payment and say they will come back after buying the shingles. Then, they never come back,” she said.
According to Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, “Where roofing is concerned there is such a long history of abuse of consumers, particularly during periods after storms or natural disasters.”
But a new measure put forth by Carona aims to put a stop to it. Not just would his measure require roofers in Texas to carry state licenses, but also be registered with the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). This would give both the state and the TDI the ability to oversee and regulate roofing companies and contractors, in the process putting in some safeguards for homeowners.
As Fox notes, if roofing contractors were regulated by the state, hail horror stories could be prevented as the state could then take action against those who defraud homeowners or perform shoddy work. “We want our industry to be as professional as any other industry,” she said.
Beside state regulation of roofing contractors, bills filed in the House (HB 888) and Senate (SB 311) also call for the following changes:
- Requiring state licensing of roofing businesses or registration and oversight of those businesses by Texas Department of Insurance.
- Requiring standard form contracts for roofers and homeowners drafted by insurance department.
- Requiring disclosure of roofer insurance coverage to consumers before contract is signed.
- Prohibiting roofers from offering to cover an insured’s deductible as part of transaction.
- Prohibiting roofers from adjusting insurance claims.
- Creating a license holder database on Department of Insurance website for consumers to compare and examine roofing businesses.
- Conducting background checks for roofers.
- Exempting new homes and new commercial construction.
Should the bills pass in Texas, those hail horror stories just might be a thing of the past.
This article is brought to you by ASAP Roofing, a national roofing company that specializes in hail damage, roofing restoration, and exceptional customer service. ASAP has offices in Denver, Dallas, and Indianapolis.