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Texas Department of Insurance
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October 30, 2019

Deductible scam targets Dallas storm victims

Deceptive fliers

deceptive fliers

Dallas storm victims are the targets of a deceptive attempt to lure them into buying a service that claims to pay insurance deductibles. “In Texas if you do not pay your insurance deductible go to jail!” threatens one of the fliers being circulated in neighborhoods with tornado damage.

Both of the deceptive fliers mention a new state law that makes it illegal for a contractor to waive an insurance deductible. One claims to be a “public service announcement” and uses the Texas Department of Insurance logo. Reports indicate the scam may be targeting older storm victims.

“Intentionally scaring and misleading people who are trying to recover from a devastating storm is unconscionable,” said Insurance Commissioner Kent Sullivan. “Homeowners were already required to pay the deductible. The new law helps protect them from bad contractors.”

Under the new law, it is illegal for contractors or roofers to offer to waive a deductible or promise a rebate for all or part of a deductible. It also allows insurance companies to request proof, such a receipt or canceled check, that the homeowner paid the deductible. 

“One of the fliers used my name to appear as though I was quoted and endorsing the company,” said State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione of Southlake. “I never spoke to anyone with this company, never gave consent for a quote to be used, and I never gave an endorsement of this fraudulent company. I want to thank the Texas Department of Insurance for quickly alerting Texans to this fraudulent activity and helping keep those who just experienced storm damage safe from deceitful and dishonest scammers.” 

After a major storm, contractors – including some scam artists – are quick to arrive on the scene. This can lead to shoddy repairs, fake contracts, and other problems. One selling point bad contractors often use is offering to waive or absorb the homeowner’s deductible. The contractor then cuts corners, uses lower quality products, or inflates the bill sent to the insurance company to cover the difference. 

If a contractor offers to waive a deductible, report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-621-0508. For an insurance question or help with a claim, call the Texas Department of Insurance Help Line at 1-800-252-3439.

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Last updated: 12/9/2019