Thursday, September 16, 2010

Worried about Hail Damage?

Awoke this morning to a sound now becoming familiar: roofers. Sure enough; opened the blinds and there they were, two doors down. This might not penetrate my consciousness if I were getting up early and going to an office every morning, but I'm not, and I notice.

It all started when half a dozen separate roofing companies sent their armies of lackeys around my neighborhood with what must have seemed, to many, a watertight argument. They would climb on your roof and tell you, for free, if they saw any sign of hail damage, and if they did you could have them repair your roof at (most likely) no cost to you, since apparently most insurance companies cover such repairs completely. The racket sounds a little suspicious.

Do you think there would be a market for a business like this but with a humanitarian twist? Here's what I'm thinking:
"We will inspect your roof and give you a written report of what we see. You check with your insurance company, and if they authorize the repair we will re-roof your house at no cost to you. Well, no cost except the $100 tax-deductible donation you make to Shelter Now to help put roofs over the heads of vulnerable families in flood-ravaged Pakistan. Even if you decide not to bring the roofers to your house, here's a flier about the program."
 I've been thinking again about a column G.K. Chesterton wrote about a centruy ago comparing modern civilization - with its focus on providing for the rich but not the poor - to the Titanic:
"Quite apart from the question of whether anyone was to blame, the big outstanding fact remains: that there was no sort of sane proportion between the provision for luxury and levity, and the extent of the provision for need and desperation. The scheme did far too much for prosperity and far too little for distress - just like the modern State."
Source: G.K. Chesterton, "The Great Shipwreck as Analogy," in The Illustrated London News, May 11, 1912. Access it here:

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