HELPFUL TIPS FOR FINDING A TRUSTWORTHY CONTRACTOR

After a storm, it's important to perform any necessary roofing repairs quickly to help protect your home from further damage. But that doesn't mean you should choose the first contractor who knocks on your door. Finding one who is trustworthy, honest, and professional will make all the difference in protecting your investment.

Check out these tips to help protect yourself, your home, and your wallet.

1. Require the salesman to provide a list of LOCAL referrals. There is less chance of disappointments when you choose a contractor from your community who is likely more familiar with local rules and codes and has a relationship with area crews and suppliers.

2. Look for manufacturer designations. The contractor must pass certain minimum requirements to be factory certified. GAF only allows 5% of roofing contractors to be recognized as Certified™ Contractors.

3. Get an extensive warranty. Not all contractors can offer manufacturer warranties that include coverage of the contractor's workmanship. Without a workmanship warranty, you might be on the hook for mistakes that show up years later. A Certified™ Contractor can offer you the System Plus Ltd. Warranty.

4. Check for proper licensing and insurance. Before signing any agreement, insist the salesman to provide up to date insurance certificates for both liability and worker's comp. The contractor should have insurance for all employees and subcontractors and be able to provide these copies for validation. GAF Certified™ Contractors must hold appropriate levels of Workers Compensation, at least $1 million worth of General Liability coverage, and have proper state and city licensing where they are performing the work.

5. Pay your deductible. Any contractor who claims they can handle the repair without having the homeowner pay their insurance deductible could be committing insurance fraud and endangering the homeowner. Also, a contractor who says they are "a claim specialist" or can "handle your insurance claim" may be breaking the law.

6. Most importantly, avoid contractor's that have an "assignment of benefits" clause within their agreement. You may be signing over your insurance rights, and contractors carry no qualifications to process, prepare, or supplement insurance claims in Florida.