The ‘unfastened roof’ rip-off that saw roofers pay homeowners


Here’s the main manner the Texas roofing industry is about to change.

A new nation law designed to shield hailstorm sufferers from scamming roofers approach extra out-of-pocket roofing prices for many homeowners.

If Gov. Greg Abbott symptoms an invoice on his table after a vicious hail storm, you’ll quickly need to count on to pay $1,000, $2,000, or more (relying on your deductible) for a brand new roof. A roof repairer couldn’t select up the price.

The new law seeks to end the mentality inside the unregulated Texas roofing enterprise that may first-class be summed up this way: You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.


The bill calls for a house owner to pay an insurance deductible in full, as already required by law. Sounds apparent enough. In fact, this is the 0.33 time The Watchdog is aware of-of the state law being rewritten to require a deductibles charge. This left out provision became state law 30 years ago. That’s proof proper there that few take note of the present law.

Here’s the road version: A hailstorm hits your neighborhood. Roofer trolls parade up and down your block with guarantees of the fast carrier. And, “Hey, I’ll pick out up your deductible.”

Free roof!

It’s generally a prevailing argument. Harry Homeowner doesn’t recognize that form of speak and observe-up is towards existing law. Poor Harry. He presently might be prosecuted for insurance fraud. Not that this takes place.

The returned-scratching roofing company can normally provide a decrease fee than an extra honest competing enterprise attempting to follow the law.

How is the capability regulation exceptional from the present law that few observe? Proof of deductibles charge within the form of a canceled test, money order, credit card assertion might be required as a part of any insurance claim.

This required announcement could start accompanying all property owner claims letters: “Texas regulation calls for a person insured beneath a belongings coverage to pay any deductible relevant to a claim underneath the policy.”

This indicates the roof job you bought in which the $2,000 deductible becomes “forgiven” and buried in other ways in the roofer’s office work might now be required as the charge. Out-of-pocket. With proof that you did it.

This doesn’t position more money in the coverage company’s pocket. Insurance agencies always discover a manner to carve out their deductible from a claiming price. It’s just a remember of who, ultimately, secretly can pay it. And how.

What’s the advantage to clients? Not as an awful lot as I’d hoped.

For one element, coverage fraud is a fraud, even though no one is prosecuted. But if approved by way of the governor, the new law — House Bill 2102 by Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake — eliminates current consequences for any property owner who evades the law.

Another gain for consumers: Knowing that deductibles need to be paid and then listening to an income pitch from a roofing company that gives to bypass the regulation is a crimson flag. What other corners do they reduce?

This doesn’t sound like a great deal of a purchaser victory. Homeowners lose some of their right to negotiate to price with roofers.

Abbott may want to veto the invoice and say it basically already exists in country regulation, which is genuine.

My trouble is that this changed into the handiest, a small piece of a far larger roofing enterprise reform campaign. A companion bill one range away — HB 2101 — might have created a required registry for “re-roofers” in which they’d have been required to pay $250 to register and provide their call, deal with, and call range to the state.

That’s not plenty—no required lessons. No license. No tests. Just a roof craftsman’s name on a public listing, a laptop database that consumers should check to find real roofers.

This waiving of the deductible law, the back-scratcher bill, turned into paired with the registry bill. Together, they had been designed to convey order to a rough enterprise in which victims once in a while pay faux roofers who then flee. Homeowners lose their cash.

But that registry invoice went down as difficult and speedy as any invoice I’ve ever visible in a country Legislature. I’ve spent the week reviewing tapes of the debates and votes and interviewing the players worried about that debacle.

In my next Watchdog report, I’ll take you backstage to that catastrophe. Why did tea birthday celebration loyalists line up with liberal Democrats to kill the bill and do nothing to carry order to the Wild West this is Texas roofing?