(Austin, TX) – After major hail and windstorms, roofing contractors often descend on neighborhoods impacted by storm damage. Unfortunately, more and more often, homeowners find themselves with unsatisfactory work and unfinished repairs that cost them thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. As the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season heats up, AAA Texas has teamed up with Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT) and Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) to help homeowners prevent becoming a victim of dishonest and inexperienced roofers.
“For most people, a home is the single most expensive, valuable asset they will ever own. Our goal is to educate homeowners on how to protect their property, their family and their investments both before and after severe weather strikes,” said Linda von Quintus, AAA VP of Government and Community Affairs.
In an effort to avoid being a victim of insurance fraud, call your insurance company immediately after experiencing a loss to make sure the damage is covered. Before agreeing to any major repairs, ask the roofing contractor for references, repair estimates and offered warranties in writing. Beware of contractors who only accept cash payments and/or request the entire payment up front.
“While there are many reputable roofing contractors throughout the Lone Star State, some individuals will try to take advantage of homeowners, particularly after severe storm damage. The tips offered here today will empower homeowners to choose reputable roof contractors and avoid unscrupulous ones," said Deeia Beck, Executive Director of Office of Public Insurance Counsel.
When looking for a roofing contractor, homeowners want someone who is skilled, knowledgeable and reliable in their field; however, finding a contractor who meets these requirements can be challenging for homeowners who don't have the time or knowledge of what to look out for.
“To ease the search process, RCAT offers a database of contractors and certified contractors that have been vetted according to a rigorous screening process and consumer tips,” said Vera Samperi, Executive Director of the Roofing Contractors Association of Texas. “This helps ensure the job will be done right the first time."
To access RCAT’s database simply log onto www.rooftex.com.
In addition, AAA Texas now offers the AAA Home Repair & Improvement Network. AAA Texas members who own a home can be referred to a network of pre-screened contractors for home improvement projects and emergency repairs. Information about the service is available at www.aaa.com/homeimprovement. To further assist consumers, AAA Texas will begin offering “Find a Reliable and Reputable Roofer” tip cards to members and non-members. Those tip cards will be available at AAA branch offices throughout the state beginning in August. For more AAA Texas tips about roofing repairs log onto: www.aaa.com/roofrepairtips
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 53 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, the not-for-profit, fully tax-paying AAA has been a leader and advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.
The Roofing Contractors Association of Texas (RCAT) is a statewide trade association of roofing and waterproofing contractors, dedicated to helping its members operate successfully by providing up-to-date continuing education, technical research data, industry contacts, consumer help and a forum for governmental and public relations.
The Office of Public Insurance Counsel (OPIC) represents the interests of consumers, including small commercial insurance consumers, as a class on matters involving insurance rates, rules, and policy forms.