BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — As pea-sized hail battered West Melbourne on Wednesday, property owners in Lake County reported the return of door-to-door roof replacement companies who took advantage of the previous day’s storm.
The industry had gotten a bad rap in recent years. While some companies are legitimately trying to get their name out there, the door-to-door business has been known to be plagued by scammers offering to inspect and repair roofs and forcing insurance companies to pay — or with facing costly lawsuits.
Lawmakers, faced with mounting anger over sky-high property insurance hikes, cut off some of the ways these companies made money by forcing property owners to pay legal fees and ending assignments of benefit contracts.
While analysts believe these measures will work in due course, the return of the door knock came as no surprise to some.
SEE: Up to baseball-sized hail falls in central Florida
“You’re hoping you’re not watching the news and being informed,” said Universal Insurance Agency owner Diana Giron.
Giron said it’s easy to tell if a roof has hail damage. If dents have not already been seen, owners are advised to check statutes and downspouts for signs of asphalt granulate.
Owners can even check the gutters of their home. You can usually find granules there, but not in heaps you can stick a finger in.
LIVE UPDATES: Hail hits Brevard County, more storms pop in Central Florida
Giron’s advice was to document the hail, including a way to measure the size of the stones, and then call an insurance agent or reputable roofing company that offers free damage inspections.
Then, she said, let your insurance company process the claim.
SEE: Hail piles up like snow in Brevard County
“The insurance carrier is already on the risk,” she said. “They want to take care of you and they want to make you whole. Trust the system and let the insurance companies do their job.”
Other agents gave the same advice, but admitted hail damage could be difficult and people living next to each other would get different results depending on the wearer.
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