Hail damage fraud: How does it happen?

by Guest » Sat Mar 08, 2008 11:39 am

I have hail damage. My deductible is almost 3K with depreciation, the contractor offered to submit one claim for the amount of damage equal to what I will receive for my claim, then give me a lower estimate because I don't have the 3k for the deductible. Is this fraud? Could I be prosecuted? Should I choose another contractor? Help, I don't want to go to jail!

Total Comments: 35

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 04:41 am Post Subject: Minneasota Contractor

Don't get involved in allowing him to put in a higher estimate (committing Fraud) so you don't have to pay your deductible. You knew what your deductible was when you bought the policy. Send your dirty contractor on his way, if he is willing to lie to the insurance co. what makes you think he wouldn't lie to you?? Good Luck!!

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 01:21 pm Post Subject:

I would definitely be careful when it comes to a hail damage fraud. Insurance fraud could really put you in jail and you would still be responsible for paying back the money if caught plus atty fees, court costs...figuring all that in $3,000 may not seem like that much. I would get other estimates and do any of the work I could myself to see what I could save. You may want to also think about a lower deductible. It always costs sooo much to fix anything these days.

Posted: Sat Mar 08, 2008 01:49 pm Post Subject:

Yes, it is a hail damage fraud....Like one posters said, if he will commit fraud against the insurance company can you trust him that he is doing what he tells you he is doing on your roof? Or as he proposes to do for your carrier, will he tell you one thing and do another?

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 01:52 am Post Subject:

Great point Lori. What if he leaves the person stranded and the insurance company can not back them up if the info they origianlly got was dishonest. Yep would find me someone else.

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 04:31 am Post Subject:

First, the post is a little confusing. You state that you have a 3K deductible with depreciation. Does that mean that your deductible is 3K, does that mean that your insurance company is holding back 3K that includes your deductible and non-recoverable depreciation (Actual Cash Value Policy), or does that mean that they are holding back 3K and that some of that is recoverable (Replacement Cost Policy)?

In any of the three cases, I would highly doubt that your roofer would be able to "hide" 3K his inflated estimate. I would agree with the other posters and run from this guy. But there are a few ways that you can still do alright. Normally with a hail claim, you are going to have damage to other items then your roof, and normally they are more cosmetic then anything (siding, window trim, a/c unit, other metal items that are not actually "damaged" or still serve their purpose. You can alway put the money from the items that are more cosmetic towards the roof and then do as much as possible to the other items wtih the money left over, or have them completed by someone cheaper.

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 05:13 am Post Subject: time to look for reputable roofer

What you want to do is is look around for a good, reputable roofer. One that's been in business for a while. Talk with them about your situation. Many good contractors are willing to work with people to secure the business.

If your deductible is $3,000, try offering $1,500 to $2,000 up front and see if they'll finance the rest. You'll want to make it a decent enough offer for them to work with you. Larger contractors may even have financing available.

Unfortunately, there are tons of fly by night roofers that use the money from one job to fund another and get so backup, they have to dissapear, leaving a lot of unhappy customers and half finished roofs. Such acts surely amount to this kinda hail damage fraud cases.

A good business person knows that word of mouth is the best advertising and a happy and appreciative customer tells everyone they know about their expirience.

After this has been taken care of, either reduce your deductible to something you can manage at any given time or set up a savings account and begin saving up for the next time this may happen. Putting the money away will save you the headache next time and if their is no next time, you'll continue to draw interest on the money.

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:41 am Post Subject:

Does that mean that your deductible is 3K,

I doubt this, more than likley the way I'm reading it, is the deduct is probably 500 or 1000 and balance is depreciation.....

It appears we have a consensus here...using this roofer is a HUGE risk...Such hail damage fraud instances are not rare. Dasfuk, makes a good point if you have some other damage that you were paid for and can live with you could use that money toward your roof...again remembering in that instance too, should you suffer additional damage to property that was paid to replace, it won't be paid again...more than likley....

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 08:20 pm Post Subject:

The poster could live in a state with a % deductible, and in that case it could be 3K. If not, and they have replacement cost... many people don't understand when they receive a check for far less then the loss. It doesn't matter how many times you explain recoverable depreciation and how it works, they just see that the check is 3K less then the agreed price and assume they are out that money.

Posted: Tue Mar 11, 2008 08:49 pm Post Subject:

If not, and they have replacement cost... many people don't understand when they receive a check for far less then the loss. It doesn't matter how many times you explain recoverable depreciation and how it works, they just see that the check is 3K less then the agreed price and assume they are out that money.

You're right re: the recoverable depreciation, it's hard for anyone to understand really...re: percentage deduct could be however they said depreciation I think...I've never heard of a percentage on anything other than earthquake, flood, specific perils, but certainly could be.

Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:37 am Post Subject:

Everything depreciates in time. My mother spent a good amount putting a deck on her house only to have a car miss a turn and plow straight through it. Also damaged the old type siding, chimney..and so on. She did not understand the depreciated value when she recieved a check from the auto company. The deck was only months old and she had receipts but still didn't get full value she had paid. Same with the old siding and chimney. Its sad when it happens but you have to do what you can and move on.

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