Roofing companies do not usually drive around a development looking for jobs. People come to them when a repair or replacement is needed.
Roofing scammers usually do the above after some sort of bad storm or hurricane or other natural disaster. They survey homes with roof damage. Now, if there has not been any such events happening and a man knocks on your door offering you a FREE roof, a red flag should go up. If the man's vehicle is unmarked or private with no business name on the panels, another red flag should go up. If they offer a free rood inspection, another red flag should go up.
What is the scam?
A very popular scam in Florida and other states is the offer of a free roof. There is no such thing as homeowners will need to pay any deductible with a home insurance policy. A new tile roof can cost $25K. Most home insurance policies exclude a roof's normal aging and wear, leaving only storm damage as being covered.
Nefarious and unethical roofers with the claim of a free roof replacement are only successful if you sign over your AOB. The "Assignment of Benefits" clause is where you are allowing the roofers to submit a claim instead of you, the policy owner. Once this happens, the roofers may or may do the actual work and still submit a claim to your home insurance company for payment. If the work has been done, all evidence of the old roof's condition and damage is gone, so the insurance company cannot dispute the claim. The roofer claim is usually more than the actual cost. You will still have to pay whatever deductibles you have with the policy, which could be thousands. So, it is not free but cheaper.
The impact of this unethical practice is that home insurance companies raise their premiums to homeowners. It is illegal and many such roofers have been charged with fraud and convicted.
The simple way to stop this is for insurance companies not allow the owner of the policy any AOB rights to any roofing company. If they do, their policy is void. Of course, another scam is where the roofer wants money up front and then the work is not completed. Most reputable roofers do not require any money up front.
perrya (author) on October 19, 2020:
Just had one of these happen to me in Florida.