A Denver, Colorado contractor has been charged with several counts of felony theft after allegedly scamming elderly homeowners through his roofing and restoration business.
Jonathan McMillan, 41, is the owner of Lifetime Roofing and Restoration. According to Jefferson County court documents, McMillan hired sales people to go door-to-door soliciting roofing business from homeowners with houses damaged primarily by hailstorms. Those employees were instructed by McMillan to have the homeowners sign contracts and collect as much insurance claim payments as quickly as possible.
NICB’s legislative advocacy team leads the property/casualty industry’s anti-fraud and vehicle theft legislative and regulatory agenda. Our legislative efforts help bring about tangible solutions to protect the American public from potential scams and unfair practices. An example of this is seen in our current efforts in the licensing and regulation of roofing contractors.
The NICB supports legislation that would license and regulate roofing contractors in the state of Texas. This year, two bills have been introduced –HB 888 and SB 311. If passed, Texas would establish a roofing contractors’ advisory board under the Texas Commission of Licensing and Regulation. The new law would establish license requirements; require criminal history background checks; and a public accessible license holder database. More importantly, the law would prohibit rebating of any applicable insurance deductible and prohibit a roofing contractor from acting as a public insurance adjuster.
Currently under Texas law, there is no authorized agency to assure consumer protections from those roofing contractors who receive pay for services never rendered, or deliberately cause damage to a structure.
NICB proposed the following recommendations:
Require basic registration and licensing of roofing contractors in the state of Texas.
Require a written and signed contract between property owner and the roofing contractor which must include: scope of work and materials, cost of work and materials, and approximate dates of services.
Roofing contractors must provide contact information, including a physical address.
Roofing contractors must provide identification of the contractor’s surety and liability coverage insurer and their contact information.
Roofing contractors must establish and provide notice of their policy regarding cancellation of a contract and refunding of any deposit.
Roofing contractors must allow the property owner to rescind the contract and obtain a full refund within 72 hours of entering the contract.
Roofing contractors cannot pay, waive, or rebate the property owner’s insurance deductible.
Roofing contractors must hold in trust any payment until the contractor has delivered roofing materials to the jobsite or has performed a majority of the roofing work.
NICB feels a roofing contractor should not act directly or indirectly as a public adjuster or act on the behalf of an insured to negotiate or affect the settlement of an insurance claim. However, this does not mean that a roofing contractor should not discuss the scope of work with an insurer or insured.
While the significance of what happens in the state of Texas may not be readily apparent to those living in other states, we consider the whole picture. We all pay the cost for insurance fraud. Change in one state opens the door to effectively bring about change in others. To date, we have been successful in getting similar legislation passed in other states.