Can A Roofer Pay My Deductible in Texas? Understanding HB2102 Deductibles Law
Megan Simonsen | Jun 21, 2022
If your home has been hit by a hail or windstorm, you're likely looking to your insurance policy to get the coverage you need for roof repairs. But, in most cases, it's up to you to find the roofer who can actually make the repairs.
As you're looking for someone who has the time and expertise to come out and fix your roof, you'll likely shop around for the best price. Once in a while, you might hear from a roofer, "we offer free roof repairs after storm or wind damage." But is this true? And can you trust a Texas roofer who makes that claim?
It's all laid out in Texas's House Bill 2102, which we're going to cover in-depth in this article. We'll talk about what House Bill 2102 states, what you, as the property owner, are responsible for when it comes to roof repairs, and how to find a roofer you can trust to do the work according to the letter of the law.
Let's start with the most pressing question:
Can a Roofer Pay My Deductible in Texas?
It's always been illegal in the state of Texas for a roofer to waive or discount a deductible or offer a "free" roof.
But in the past, some confusing language made it difficult for the state to enforce this law. Here's a bit more info about how roofers might try to pay your deductible.
After updates to Texas law in 2019, most notably with House Bill 2102, the state is cracking down on a roofer's ability to "waive" deductibles, and it's more important than ever for property owners to know exactly which rules to follow as they make a roofing insurance claim.
What Does the HB 2102 Law State?
House Bill 2102 is a Texas deductibles law that went into effect on September 1, 2019. Its purpose was to update previously unclear language around property insurance deductible laws.
The HB2102 Texas deductibles law states the following:
Sec. 27.02. GOODS OR SERVICES PAID FOR BY INSURANCE PROCEEDS: PAYMENT OF DEDUCTIBLE REQUIRED [CERTAIN INSURANCE CLAIMS FOR EXCESSIVE CHARGES].
(A) In this section, "property insurance policy" has the meaning assigned by Section 707.001, Insurance Code.
(B) A contract to provide a good or service that is reasonably expected to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a claim under a property insurance policy and that has a contract price of $1,000 or more must contain the following notice in at least 12-point boldface type: "Texas law requires a person insured under a property insurance policy to pay any deductible applicable to a claim made under the policy. It is a violation of Texas law for a seller of goods or services who reasonably expects to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a property insurance claim to knowingly allow the insured person to fail to pay, or assist the insured person's failure to pay, the applicable insurance deductible."
What Does HB 2102 Mean for Property Owners?
To boil all of that legal jargon down, HB2102 means that in any event where you are using your property insurance, you, the property owner, must pay the deductible outlined in your property insurance policy.
A roofer cannot, according to Texas law, waive or discount your deductible, and they are required to make this law apparent to you in any contract they present.
How Does HB 2102 Change How Roofs Should Be Paid for In Texas?
As mentioned before, Texas law has always required that property owners pay their insurance deductibles. Unfortunately, some confusing language meant that it was very difficult to enforce that law, and many roofers took advantage of this to lure or scam Texas homeowners with "free" roofs.
HB 2102 tightens up that language and makes it very clear how the state can enforce this law should any roofer attempt to violate it. You can read the full language in our blog What the HB2102 Deductibles Law Means for Roofers, but in general, the punishment terms for a roofer who attempts to waive a deductible are up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
How Can I Find a Reputable Roofer Who Adheres to HB 2102?
All this information might sound confusing, but the new changes essentially boil down to two key points for property owners:
- Pay your deductible, and
- Find a reputable roofer you can trust to do the work right the first time.
To find a reputable roofer who is adhering to HB 2102, look for:
- The HB2102 language on their contract. Roofers are now required to include the below statement on their contracts, in size 12 or larger font.
"Texas law requires a person insured under a property insurance policy to pay any deductible applicable to a claim made under the policy. It is a violation of Texas law for a seller of goods or services who reasonably expects to be paid wholly or partly from the proceeds of a property insurance claim to knowingly allow the insured person to fail to pay, or assist the insured person's failure to pay, the applicable insurance deductible."
- A space to fill in your insurance deductible amount and check number on their contract or service form. This form is necessary to show to the insurance provider as a form of proof that you have already paid the roofer your deductible. Do not pay cash!
- A roofer who is providing excellent work, and who has a great long-term reputation. Especially around storm season, roofers known as "storm chasers" will stake out certain neighborhoods or areas that have been hit with inclement weather. These roofers will offer bold promises like a "free roof" where you have no out-of-pocket costs. This is a sure sign that this roofer is operating outside of the law.
What if I Can't Afford My Insurance Deductible for a New Roof?
HB2102 means that property owners must be diligent about who they hire to replace or repair their roofs. It also means there's no way around the cost of your deductible.
But what if your property insurance policy deductible is more than you can afford?
If your property insurance deductible is more than you can afford, it's always best to shop around for a policy that does fit your budget. That's a key component of choosing an insurance policy that is the best fit for you.
But if you're already past that point, and you've filed a claim, the best thing to do is talk with your insurance provider to negotiate a lower deductible. If your current insurer won't offer a lower deductible, shopping around with other providers is a smart way to get a deductible you can afford.
And, if you just can't seem to find a policy with an affordable deductible, it's good to know that payment plans may be an option. Again, you'll need to work with your roofer and your insurance provider to set that payment plan up, and to ensure you're completing it in a way that is compliant with HB 2102.
What if I've Already Contracted with a Roofer for a "Free" Roof?
If you've already worked with a roofer who has said they'll get you a "free" roof, you may unknowingly be at risk of insurance fraud which is a misdemeanor. Worse, it is a felony to knowingly not pay your deductible.
It's important to get in touch with an experienced attorney right away. They will be able to help make sense of your situation, determine what risk you may have, and identify a way out that keeps you safe from large insurance companies. Get in touch with The Lane Law Firm's insurance dispute resolution attorneys for experienced support you can trust.