State snags shingle-slinging scofflaws

Regulator rounds up reprobate roofers

State snags shingle-slinging scofflaws

Insurance News

By Ryan Smith

The Florida Department of Financial Services has announced the arrest of two roofing contractors for insurance fraud.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced the arrest of Brian Webb and Brandon Jourdan of Webb Roofing & Construction for allegedly operating a scheme for free roof replacements for damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The scam allegedly involved enticing homeowners with rebates that would cover their insurance deductible if they submitted a full roof replacement claim to their property insurer.

“Scam roofing schemes are driving up insurance rates for every Florida family and plaguing our state,” Patronis said. “There is no such thing as a free roof, and 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.

“My fraud detectives are working every day to track down these bad actors and hold them accountable. Always remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Never sign anything regarding your insurance without talking to your agent or calling my office first. 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.”

An investigation by the CFO’s Division of Investigative and Forensic Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud, found that Webb and Jourdan allegedly masterminded a scam in which they instructed their sales employees to solicit insured homeowners with a promise that they could get a new roof without paying the required insurance deductible.

Webb Roofing employees allegedly convinced homeowners to submit claims for “damaged” roofs allegedly caused by Hurricane Irma for full roof replacements. The salespeople would have the homeowners sign over their insurance claim rights in an assignment of benefits, as well as having them sign an “advertising agreement” in exchange for waiving their deductible, investigators said.

If homeowners signed the agreement and allowed an advertising sign to be placed in their yard, provided positive online reviews and gave neighborhood referrals, Webb Roofing would allegedly “rebate” or “credit” the amount of the deductible – which is illegal under Florida law.

Webb and Jourdan have been charged with nine counts of filing false and fraudulent insurance claims, a third-degree felony. If convicted on all charges, each faces a maximum sentence of up to 45 years in prison and a fine of up to $45,000.

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