The insurance claims industry has a quiet battle raging with the roofing restoration industry. Insurance companies dislike some roofers’ sales tactics involving assignments of rights, agreeing to absorb deductibles, scope and pricing. Insurance companies have accused some roofing contractors of outright fraud.

Public adjusters are not exactly enamored with some roofing contractors either. Last year, public adjuster Cal Spoon took me around the Dallas area and showed me billboards on which roofers promised to perform adjusting services for policyholders who suffered massive hail damages. He had evidence of more than 20 different advertisements that made such promises.

In Florida, three roofers were arrested and have been charged with posing as public adjusters:

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced today the arrests of Derek Shawn Kellogg, 31, Crawfordville; Corey Jermaine Brownlee, 30, Jacksonville; and Sean McCaslin, 49, Tallahassee; employees of Roofmasters, Inc., for acting as unlicensed public adjusters while soliciting homeowners for roof repairs in the Tallahassee area.

An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that Roofmasters, Inc., based in Jacksonville, used high-pressure sales tactics and informed homeowners they were "insurance specialists" and could assist them in dealing with their insurance companies. Company literature notes that homeowners may be entitled to a new roof with no out-of-pocket expense. Roofmasters, Inc. submitted an insurance claim on behalf of a homeowner, violating Florida law.

Kellogg, Brownlee and McCaslin were booked into Leon County Jail. If convicted, they each face up to 5 years in prison.

CFO Atwater encourages Floridians to Verify Before You Buy to ensure that the insurance adjuster, agent or company you are dealing with is licensed to transact business in Florida.

The criminal cases are still pending.

There are many qualified roofing companies and roofers who do not overstep the legal bounds of their profession. Though illegal in many states, numerous roofing websites claim to "represent" policyholders with regard to their insurance claims. An example is found in this website, which states in part:

"Why Choose Us? All of our staff is specially trained with storm damage claims and will provide you with the best representation possible."

A good prosecutor may call that website Exhibit #1.