David Vaughan, owner of Vaughan Insurance Group, said: “Oftentimes consumers think of insurance
policies as maintenance plans … this can lead to future non-renewal of their policies, and the small claims
that were paid in the past can lead to higher premiums in the future.”
He explained: “Insurance policies are written to protect homeowners from ‘catastrophic loss’ – the total
destruction of a devastating home fire, storm damage such as significant tornado damage or total loss of
roof through hail damage. They are not written to cover every little problem that emerges, such as single
window breakage or replacement of older roofs due to hail damage.”
One big problem Oklahoma homeowners face is the fact they live in “tornado alley,” and that springtime
brings the risk of hailstorms.
Every spring following thunderstorms, an army of “storm troopers” out of Texas and the Southwest also
appears – usually the “two guys with truck” variety. They drive down Tulsa streets, stopping to knock on
doors and alarm homeowners by saying: “We could tell clear from the street that you have hail damage.
We guarantee we can get you a new roof for FREE” (out of your insurance company).
Craig Cox, owner of Perfection Roofing, calls these guys “gold-lipped, door-knockin’ storm troopers” as
they troop into town following news reports of hail damage and talk the gold out of leak-fearing residents.
They go door-to-door rather than relying on customer calls, as they have no local shops, and often split
town with the deposit money without ever lifting a shingle.
The only problem with their promise of getting homeowners free roofs from their insurance companies
via a roof repair insurance claim is there are two flavors of home insurance: “actual cash value” and “total
Older homes with older roofs generally qualify only for “cash value” policies (they pay only a prorated
value on the old roof). Roofers who say they can get a free, total replacement are playing fast and loose
with the truth. They can’t.
Actual cash value policies pay only a small portion of the total cost of roof replacement, leaving them
holding the bag for thousands of dollars. Homeowners with “total replacement cost” policies usually get
their roofs replaced without additional cost, Vaughan said.