In the wake of a storm you’ll often have roofers showing up at your door, offering free inspections to search for recent storm damage. As a homeowner, you want to be sure your roof is doing its job well of protecting your home. But you also need to protect your home by making sure the right person is on the roof.

One big thing to look out for when it comes to choosing a roofer is to avoid those who offer promises such as:

  • “We’ll waive your insurance deductible!”

  • “We will reimburse you for your deductible.”

  • “You can get your roof at no cost!”

  • “We ‘eat’ your deductible.”

  • Or, “We can offer you deductible assistance.”

It seems like a great deal at first glance. You’re happy enough to have your insurance company stepping in to cover the cost of a replacement roof after hail totaled your current one. But the thought of not having to spend a penny out of pocket—that’s even better! However, these offers are always complicated—and almost always illegal in nature.

One way that roofing companies make this happen is by billing you for the full cost that your insurance has agreed to pay, whether the project requires that kind of money or not. The roofer will then use a “Change order” to adjust the cost of the job by exactly the cost of your deductible. This leaves the insurer over billed—and has the potential of landing you with insurance fraud.

What To Look For, And What To Avoid

Out-of-town “storm chasers” will sometimes make promises such as the ones stated above as a marketing scheme to secure your contract. However, promises such as these can serve as your first red flag; a good indicator to kindly close the door and call a reputable, local contractor—one who is well acquainted with local regulations.

Of course, we would all rather not pay the deductible when dealing with insurance claims. But it is what it is. However, a good roofing contractor will be trained in how to work directly with your insurance. They will be able to assist you in getting any and all insurance compensation that you may be entitled to for your new roof.

Following a storm, it’s important that you have your roof checked for damage. Uncorrected damage can leave your home vulnerable to costly, more extensive repairs down the road. However, the last thing that you as a homeowner want to do when it comes to signing a contract for a new roof is to walk into the contractual agreement blindly. Make sure you take the time to call a local, reputable roofing contractor who is based out of your area. Check their reputation online, and avoid out-of-town companies that won’t be around a couple of months down the road should issues arise. Work with a contractor who holds themselves above the bar; one who won’t compromise their company, or their client’s well-being by offering illegal promises such as waived deductibles. This way, from start to finish, you can be confident that your project will run smoothly, and you’ll be taken care of.