According to a recent survey conducted by the Insurance Council of Texas (ICT), Texas voters are in support of requiring roofers to be licensed in the state. The survey was conducted November 24– 28, 2012. Eighty three percent of those surveyed said they think roofing contractors should be licensed in order to repair or replace a roof on their home. Eighty Six percent of homeowners believe insurance fraud has an effect on the cost of their insurance.
Considering that plumbers, electricians, and barbers all have to be licensed by the state, it’s hard to believe that roofers can climb on a person’s roof and not need a professional license. Yet, roofers aren’t regulated which leads to anyone calling themself a roofer. People suffer from shoddy workmanship, no work at all, or insurance fraud, as a result.
Legislation was presented by Senator John Carona and Representative Kenneth Sheets (both of Dallas) to require roofers be licensed in Texas. With this legislation in place, problems and complaints can be monitored by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.
“Homeowners are getting taken advantage of all the time. To get work some roofers are offering to pay or absorb the homeowner’s deductible and acting as public adjusters, which is against the law,” said Karen Vermaire Fox, executive director of the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association. She explained the association is in support of the legislation as it would help homeowner’s know if a roofing company is reputable.
The largest roofing manufacturer in North America, GAF, is also in support of this legislation. Kris Rynshall with GAF said, “We want our roofing products to be installed correctly and that requires proper training. Without a license, you have no accountability.”
Consumers have been warned about employing out of town storm chasers because the contractors won’t be around if warranty work is needed. Another warning issued by insurance fraud investigators is that contractors will intentionally cause damage to roofs and make it look like hail damage. This doesn’t stop roofing contractors from driving hundreds of miles to find work in a city that has been hit by a destructive storm.
“These roofers are vandalizing people’s homes so they can get work. It’s difficult to catch these people in the act, but, experienced insurance adjusters know it is happening and they’re watching for it,” said Mark Hanna (spokesperson for the Texas Committee on Insurance Fraud).
Homeowners should get a recommendation for a reputable roofer before entering into any contract and don’t let anyone on your roof from a cold call or off the street, advised Fox.