"Free Roof" Scam: Can a Roofer Legally Waive My Roofing Deductible?
Updated: 3 days ago
When hail or wind storms strike, homeowners often discover damage to their roofs. To repair this damage, the homeowners turn to local and reputable roofing professionals. While many roofing contractors handle themselves reputably, some contractors are not so honest. These contractors may offer to pay the roofing deductible cost, but in reality, this requires the contractor to submit false figures on the claim, and the homeowner might find themselves in hot water.
Let our trustworthy roofing professionals explain why a "deductible-free" roofing job is a bad idea.
What Is Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a series of coverages that may help pay to replace or repair your home and belongings if damaged by specific perils, such as wind or hailstorms.
Each coverage in a homeowner's insurance policy has a limit — the maximum amount your policy would pay toward a covered loss. Some coverages may be adjusted to your needs — taking into account the value of your home and belongings and how much it may cost to repair or replace them.
What Is a Deductible?
Your insurance policy is a contract between you and your insurance provider. You pay a monthly premium for coverage in exchange for protection against a big loss. Your insurance policy ensures the losses are minimized on your part by covering the majority of the repair cost. Your deductible is a portion of this cost that you, as the homeowner, is contractually responsible for paying.
For example, your deductible is $1,500, and the damage is estimated at $10,000. That means $8,500 should come from insurance and you would owe $1,500.
Can Roofers Cover a Roofing Deductible?
No. Some roofing companies may offer promotions that promise to pay your deductible. They do this by providing you with a quote that is higher than normal. Your adjuster will then use this quote to determine how much they will award you on your claim. Since the quote presents an inflated price, submitting it to your insurance will be considered fraud.
For example, your deductible is $1,500, and the damage is estimated at $10,000. That means $8,500 should come from insurance and you would pay $1,500. Now let's say a roofing contractor knowingly inflates the damage to $11,500. The insurance payout increases to $10,000, and the contractor does the repair without the deductible. Again, deliberately falsifying an estimate to allow for an increase in insurance payouts is insurance fraud. There are significant criminal penalties for this type of fraud and hurts all parties involved. Any 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 on.
The Illinois law prohibits home repair and remodeling contractors from advertising or promising to pay or rebate "all or any portion of any insurance deductible as an inducement to the sale of goods or services." This includes "granting any allowance or offering any discount against the fees to be charged or paying the insured or any person directly or indirectly associated with the property any form of compensation."
Play It Safe and Pay Your Roofing Deductible
The bottom line is that there is no escaping from your deductible. The best solution is to play it safe and pay your deductible. TTLC Roofing, Siding, and Gutters does not participate in insurance fraud. We are a trustworthy, law-abiding company, and we are here to make sure you are fairly compensated for your claim. Call us at 815-205-1500 or fill out our form to set up a roofing inspection.