No. It is illegal in for contractors to waive your insurance deductible or help you avoid paying it.
Because insurance companies will automatically subtract the deductible from the claim payment, roofing contractors that cover deductibles either have to artificially inflate their estimates to cover the deductible or find a way to complete the job for less than it actually costs – usually through shoddy workmanship, cheap labor or cheap materials.
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?
Soliciting or engaging in insurance claim adjusting without a license is a Third Degree Felony in Florida and someone will get caught in the end. At the end of the day, if your insurance provider were to catch the contractor or yourself, don’t count on the contractor to take all the legal blame. Be wary with contractors like these! They may be cheating the system on your behalf, providing low quality work on your roof, or stamping your name on a false invoice they give to your insurer.
If you believe you have come across a case of Unlicensed Activity, you can report it here. FAPIA (Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters) will research the complaint report and subject party, and forward it to the appropriate governmental agency(s) to make sure it receives immediate attention.
With anything you do, always be sure to research it well and choose a contractor with a reliable record of customer satisfaction. Don’t get caught on a “great deal” and never hand your money to the contractor before the job is done.
Do you have storm damage and filed an insurance claim only to find out you were denied or underpaid? Has a contractor told you that you have storm damage and need a new roof and need a second opinion? Contact Claims Aid Consultants Inc today for a free property inspection and free claim review. We are a Florida licensed public adjusting firm who assist policyholders with their claims regardless of the loss from fire, smoke, wind/hail, hurricane, and tornados for residential and commercial properties. Call us today at