In March 2022, the Florida Department of Financial Services reported that two men were arrested and charged with allegedly operating a homeowner solicitation scheme for free roof replacements related to damage allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma. The scheme involved allegedly enticing homeowners with rebates to cover their insurance deductible if they submitted a full roof replacement claim to their property insurance company.
According to a press release, after a lengthy investigation, the Bureau of Insurance Fraud unveiled that the defendants allegedly conducted an insurance fraud scheme of instructing their sales employees to solicit insured homeowners with a promise they can get them a new roof without paying the required homeowner’s deductible.
The company’s employees also allegedly enticed homeowners into submitting claims for their “damaged” roofs allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma to their insurance carriers for full roof replacements. The salespeople would have the homeowner sign over their insurance claim rights in an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) and have them sign an “advertising agreement” in exchange for waving their deductible.
By signing the advertising agreement and allowing an advertising sign to be placed in their yard, providing positive reviews online and giving neighborhood referrals, the company would “rebate” or “credit” the amount of the deductible toward the cost of the claim, which is illegal under Florida law.
Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis said, “Scam roofing schemes are driving up insurance rates for every Florida family and plaguing our state. There is no such thing as a free roof and if someone comes to your door offering rebates or kickbacks to file a roof claim on your behalf, report them to my office for fraud immediately. My fraud detectives are working every day to track down these bad actors and hold them accountable. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Never sign anything regarding your insurance without talking to your agent or calling my office first. There is no room for roofers that take advantage of Florida homeowners. If someone commits insurance fraud in Florida, they will be caught and they will pay the price.”
If convicted on all charges, they each face a maximum sentence of up to a $45,000 fine and up to 45 years in prison.
If you need help with roof repair or roof replacement in SWFL, it’s crucial that you hire a reputable, legitimate company to handle the work. For more information on how to choose a reputable roofer in your area, call our office today to learn more.