Eating Deductibles is Illegal in Texas
Did you know if you work with a roofer that volunteers to help you eat your deductible or gives you a “free roof,” they’re committing insurance fraud? And, when new legislation takes effect September 1, the Department of Insurance will be paying closer attention.
That’s right. Next month, something old will be made new again. Under the Texas Legislature’s HB2102 – Prohibition Against Waiving of Deductibles, a new level of scrutiny will be placed on unprofessional roofers. (Read the Community Impact Newspaper article, “Homeowners to pay full roof replacement deductible under new law.”)
The State of Texas declared in 1989 that it was illegal to not pay deductibles on insurance claims. However, the language was considered vague by the courts and, as a result, little enforcement was done. The new bill provides clarity geared towards eliminating some of the unethical business practices that are prevalent in the roofing industry, starting with deductible payments.
Because the State rejected legislation requiring roofers to be registered with the State, any person with a ladder can claim to be a roofer. As a result, consumers fall victim to unethical roofers every day in North Texas. By adding more oversight to the process, officials hope to make doing business in Texas more difficult for those not following the law.
Eating deductibles is unlawful
Far too often, dishonest contractors help consumers eat deductibles and some even promise free roofs. Under HB2102, insurance companies now are able to request proof the deductible was paid in the form of a canceled check or other verification, before funding the claim. In addition, the roofer can be fined for not collecting the deductible outlined in the policy.
Insurance companies want proof
Another common unethical practice addressed by HB2102 is roofers lying to insurance companies on behalf of their customer. For example, if you elect to not replace your gutters or fence but the roofing company claims the work was done in order to collect the full claim amount, they are committing fraud and the homeowner is at risk of penalty as well.
Don’t be implicated
The best way to avoid concerns with the new legislation is to use a professional roofer. Ask if (and verify) they have the required language in their contract regarding the payment of deductibles. If you are compensated for storm work such as gutters or playground equipment, expect the insurance company to potentially hold back payment until you can prove it’s been repaired or replaced. Finally, check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and online reviews before engaging with a roofing contractor.
The professionals at Peak Roofing & Construction are here to help. Call us with questions about these changes and how we can assist you with getting a quality roof. Guaranteed.
About Peak Roofing & Construction
Peak Roofing & Construction is family-owned, with 30-years of experience. Bonded, insured and accredited, we provide roofing, gutter, fence, window and exterior facelift services. Guaranteed. Call (972) 335-7325 in Dallas-Fort Worth (residential & commercial) or 281-290-7325 in Houston (commercial roofing).