05 Dec

Can Your Roofer Waive Your Deductible in Texas?

Categories: Blog, Insurance, Roofing

Know the law to avoid accidentally committing insurance fraud

Roofer installing shingles on a roof with power toolMost homeowners in Texas have experienced this scenario: a big hail or windstorm rolls through the area, and within days the roofing companies come knocking. They offer to inspect your roof for damage and, if it’s extensive enough, they will offer to work with your insurance company to replace your roof. Most of these roofing companies are completely legitimate, working proactively to provide a valuable service many homeowners need. But beware: some roofers cheat to get ahead, going so far as to break the law to win your business.

Here’s how you can tell the difference 

If a roofing company claims you can get a new roof without paying your insurance deductible, they’re running a scam. They may phrase the sales pitch in one of several ways: 

  • Zero out-of-pocket cost to you, the homeowner!
  • We’ll waive/discount your deductible (or pay your deductible for you)!
  • You get a free roof!

It’s all saying the same thing, and it’s all illegal. Texas law requires homeowners to pay their entire insurance deductible out of pocket. 

What’s really going on

Why would a roofer offer to pay your deductible? The simple answer is they do it to make more sales. Most homeowners who know they have to pay their deductible (which may be well over $1,000) will think carefully before hiring a contractor to repair their roof. But when a roofer says they’ll waive the deductible, unsuspecting homeowners are likely to jump at the opportunity to get a brand-new roof without spending a dime. 

Once you sign the contract, the roofer will recoup the cost of your deductible by submitting an inflated invoice to the insurance company. In other words, they will tell the insurer it cost them more to fix the roof than it actually did. This is insurance fraud. 

Why it’s against the law

When you signed up for a homeowners insurance policy with a deductible, you agreed to pay that specified amount before coverage would kick in. That’s how insurance companies create a system of shared risk, so they can control their costs and offer more affordable premiums to millions of homeowners. When roofers waive deductibles and submit bloated invoices to insurers, the system breaks down. Insurers end up paying more than they should, and eventually they are forced to raise their rates to continue operating profitably. In short, everybody loses. 

Updated laws, stiff penalties

If you got a new roof “for free” before 2019, there’s a good chance you unwittingly participated in this fraudulent process. It’s been going on for decades, but until recently, the laws surrounding the issue lacked clarity and were rarely enforced, a loophole that many roofers exploited. In 2019, however, the Texas Legislature updated the law via House Bill 2102, which makes it very clear that homeowners must pay their own property insurance deductible. In fact, Texas roofers are now required to state the HB2102 language on their contract in size 12 font or larger. 

Today, the law is more actively enforced, and violators (both roofers and homeowners) could face fines up to $2,000 or even up to six months in jail. 

Pick a reputable roofer

Working with a roofer that offers to pay your deductible is not only illegal; it’s also asking for trouble with the roofing job itself. After all, if a company is willing to break the law to get your business, do you trust them to do great work on your house? 

To make sure you’re working with a true professional, insist that the roofer is properly licensed, affiliated with prominent industry associations and certified by roofing material manufacturers. Get referrals from friends and neighbors who were pleased with their roofer, check the company’s web site to ensure they have an established local presence and look for positive customer reviews on Yelp, Google and other sites. 

Peak Roofing and Construction meets all of these criteria and more. Contact us today for a free inspection. Expect a proposal for high-quality workmanship at competitive prices. But sorry – paying the deductible is up to you. 

Jeff Riss

Jeff Riss

Jeff has 20 years of sales experience, a love of roofing, and a strong entrepreneurial spirit. He leads Peak Roofing & Construction’s team but also is known for getting his hands (and knees) dirty on a job site. His passion for customer service, integrity, and quality craftsmanship drives his success. Peak Roofing & Construction is a family-owned, locally-operated business focused on doing things the right way. His deep understanding of roofing, gutters, windows, fences and exterior painting provide a strong foundation for running the business and serving his customers.

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