Coalition Calls on Legislature to Protect Consumers from Roofing Scams

ALBANY, N.Y. (05/11/2017) (readMedia)-- A diverse group of organizations are advocating for legislation that safeguards New Yorkers and insulates communities after severe weather events. Protecting Owners from Roofing and Contracting Harm (PORCH) is calling on lawmakers to advance S3897A/A3246A and help New Yorkers hire reputable roofing contractors to properly and safely repair their homes.

"The overwhelming majority of roofing contractors are honest and principled, but there are a select few whose sole goal is to cheat disaster victims," Ellen Melchionni, president of the New York Insurance Association said. "These scam artists target the elderly and the vulnerable and profit at their expense. Passing this legislation will help consumers at a time when they are in the greatest need."

"Too often after a catastrophe or severe weather event, storm scammers flock to the affected area claiming to be qualified contractors," Joe Wehrle, president and CEO of the National Insurance Crime Bureau said. "These fly-by-night operators perform substandard work or simply take a homeowner's money and run. This bill will help protect disaster victims from being taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals."

"This bill shines a bright light on costly contractor scams, while empowering homeowners to get honest and well-done repairs," Dennis Jay, executive director, Coalition Against Insurance Fraud said. "Requiring signed repair contracts is especially important to ensure fair dealing after storms."

The New York State Attorney General's Office consistently lists home repair/construction as one of the top 10 consumer complaints. The proposed legislation complements consumer protections already in place and would be applicable statewide.

PORCH is a coalition of organizations dedicated to protecting consumers from scam artists and supporting the work of reputable roofing contractors.