We have all been there… a roofing contractor comes to your door, asks to get on your roof, and then tells you have damage that they can help you with. At this point you start thinking about costs when he tells you that he can “waive an insurance deductible.” Let’s talk about that:
A new law (click to view it) has been passed that protects you from this situation. Texas Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan tells us “Roofers who waive deductibles are cutting corners. Take your business elsewhere.” How are they doing it? These scam contractors offer to waive or absorb the homeowner’s deductible. They now are able to cut corners, use lower quality products, or inflate the bill sent to the insurance company to cover the difference. Not good.
As soon as a hail storm hits- while you are busy cleaning up and getting damages taken care of, contractors are waiting to make their rounds. The last thing you want to do is cut cost on repairs after something like this. It will cost you in the long-run and create a not-so-fun situation when shoddy repairs start to fail you. The Texas Department of Insurance has recently created a special fraud unit that meets with local officials after a disaster and explains steps they can take to protect residents from contractor scams.
It is illegal for contractors or roofers to offer to waive a deductible or promise a rebate for all or part of a deductible. Under the new law effective September 1, violators could get up to a $2,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
If a contractor offers to waive a deductible, report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-621-0508.
How you can avoid contractor fraud
- Get written estimates on company letterhead with clear contact information and look them up
- Beware of those who only have out-of-town references or solicit door to door- be aware!
- Don’t pay in full up front and don’t make a final payment until the job is done
- Never sign a contract with blanks on it