You may have encountered a situation where a roofing contractor offered to cover your insurance deductible to make the pricing of their bid more enticing. According to a Texas State Law (HB2102), that offer is entirely illegal and a sign that you shouldn’t do business with that company.
The bill was proposed with the purpose of preventing fraudster contractors from scamming people by offering to pay for the customer’s insurance deductible. This is usually done by over-reporting the total cost of the job to the insurance company, cutting corners on the quality of materials or some other method of shaving down the overall cost to the contractor.
Sec. 27.02. (b) of HB2102 states,
‘A contract to provide a good or service that is reasonably expected to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a claim under a property insurance policy and that has a contract price of $1,000 or more must contain the following notice in at least 12-point boldfaced type: “Texas law requires a person insured under a property insurance policy to pay any deductible applicable to a claim made under the policy. It is a violation of Texas law for a seller of goods or services who reasonably expects to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a property insurance claim to knowingly allow the insured person to fail to pay, or assist the insured person’s failure to pay, the applicable insurance deductible.’
Violation of HB2102 is considered a Class B misdemeanor offense which results in 180 days in county jail and a fine of up to $2000
This punishment applies to the contractor who is encouraging or knowingly aiding a client in avoiding the payment of their insurance deductible as well as the client who avoids paying the deductible for any reason.
If you come across a roofing contractor or any other type of contractor that’s offering to bypass your deductible, they are in direct violation of the law and should be reported. You can do so by calling the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508.
Though offering to cover your insurance deductible is a clear sign that a contractor is not above board, there are a few other warning signs that you should be on the lookout for when hiring services from a contractor:
Suspiciously low bids
No physical office
Not manufacture certified
Remember that not every contractor is trying to scam you and many are doing their best to navigate the complications of working with insurance companies in a timely manner to get your roof repaired, but the above are a few things that you should be aware of as signs that the contractor might not be the best choice for your needs. You should always get an estimate in writing with clear contact information. Get multiple bids to compare information (as long as you can confirm that bids are for the same work to be done). Check references and referrals of past jobs completed and make sure that they are fairly recent and not all from out-of-state. Don’t make your final payment until the job is done and never sign a contract with blanks on it.
Here at Butler Contractor we always do things in compliance with the law and ensure that you won’t get caught in a scam or end up unknowingly in trouble with the law. We just want to do good work and make you happy. Give us a call at (844) 628-8537 or use our easy online process to get your FREE quote.