CFO Jimmy Patronis says the Naples contractors offered homeowners a “free roof” and said they could avoid paying deductibles if they signed “ad agreements.”
NAPLES, Fla. – Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Brian Webb and Brandon Jourdan of Webb Roofing & Construction LLC for allegedly operating a homeowner solicitation scheme for free roof replacements related to damage caused by Hurricane Irma.
Patronis said the two men allegedly enticed homeowners with rebates that would cover their insurance deductible if they submitted a full roof replacement claim to their property insurance company. According to his office, a “rebate” or “credit” for the deductible cost of the claim is illegal under Florida law.
“Scam roofing schemes are driving up insurance rates for every Florida family and plaguing our state,” says Patronis. “There is no such thing as a free roof. If someone comes to your door offering rebates or kickbacks to file a roof claim on your behalf, report them to my office for fraud immediately (FraudFreeFlorida.com).”
Door-to-door roof-inspection offers are common in many areas of Florida.
Read your insurance policy
“Never sign anything regarding your insurance without talking to your agent or calling my office first,” says Patronis. “There is no room for roofers that take advantage of Florida homeowners. If someone commits insurance fraud in Florida, they will be caught and they will pay the price.”
The investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS), Bureau of Insurance Fraud alleges that Webb and Jourdan conducted an insurance fraud scheme by instructing sales employees to solicit insured homeowners with a promise that they can get them a new roof without paying the required homeowner’s deductible.
Webb Roofing employees allegedly enticed homeowners into submitting claims for their “damaged” roofs allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma to their insurance carriers for full roof replacements. The salespeople had homeowners sign over their insurance claim rights in an Assignment of Benefits (AOB), and they’d also have them sign an “advertising agreement” in exchange for waving the deductible.
Signing the advertising agreement allowed an advertising sign to be placed in the homeowner’s yard, provided positive online reviews and attracted neighborhood referrals.
Webb and Jourdan were booked into Collier and Lee County Jail on nine counts of filing False & Fraudulent Insurance Claims, a third-degree felony. If convicted on all charges, they each face a maximum sentence of up to a $45,000 fine and up to 45 years in prison.
To report suspected fraud, call the Department’s toll-free Fraud Tip Hotline at (800) 378-0445 or visit FraudFreeFlorida.com.
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