How would a contractor help me avoid paying a deductible?
One way is by giving you an estimate that’s higher than the actual cost to repair your home or roof. The contractor then uses the extra money paid by the insurance company to cover your deductible. Some contractors might offer rebates or credits in the amount of your deductible. That’s also illegal.
What’s the harm?
Contractors who say they will waive your deductible might be sending false information to your insurance company about the cost of repairs. That would be fraud. And a contractor who offers to waive your deductible is likely making up the difference by cutting corners or using lower quality products. That can lead to more claims and repairs later.
How will my insurance company know if I paid my deductible?
Your insurance company can ask for proof that you paid your deductible before it pays the full amount of your claim. You might have to show a canceled check, money order receipt, credit card statement, or a copy of the payment plan with your contractor.
How can I protect myself?
- Use a local company. Verify the contractor’s local address and phone number.
- Ask the contractor for references and check them. Also look online to find out if they’ve had complaints or bad reviews.
- Be wary of contractors who go door to door looking for business.
- Get more than one bid. Be careful if one of the bids is a lot lower than the others.
What should I do if a contractor offers to waive my deductible?
Talk to your insurance company first. You can also report it to the Texas Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-621-0508. Contractors who illegally waive deductibles could be fined or go to jail.