In the latest installment of our Mailbag series, Debra in Plano asks:

“I’m considering having my roof replaced. I recently met with a roofing contractor who told me he could fix my estimate so I don’t have to pay my deductible. The idea of not paying my deductible is appealing, but I don’t know if I feel quite right about it. Is this common practice? Will I be in hot water if I go ahead with it?”

YES and YES!

The short answers to Debra’s questions are “yes” you could end up in hot water, and “yes” (unfortunately) it’s all too common a practice. The ‘eating’ of deductibles with Dallas roof replacement is illegal and punishable by law. As the policyholder, you are responsible for meeting the terms of the policy agreement.

The other factor you need to consider in this scenario is that, while you don’t pay out of pocket for your deductible, the contractor is going to make up the dollars they’re eating someplace else - like in the the materials they use on your roof. There may be items or upgrades that the contractor says will be included that never actually get installed on the roof. In most every case, the homeowner rarely gets the roof they’ve paid for, which is also unethical.

But There is a Solution!

If paying the deductible for your roof replacement is going to put you in a cash crunch (which is not uncommon), find a reputable contractor that offers financing solutions that will help spread the burden of the payment over time.

Also, look for contractors that have a strong online presence with lots of reviews and testimonials that show a strong body of work. Check their references and credentials. Are they a Better Business Bureau A+ member in good standing? What certifications do they hold, such as GAF Master Elite status. Ask questions. This will ensure you do business with a roofing company that has your best interests at heart.

In short, stay away from doing business with contractors who are willing to play the deductible game. It’s very likely they’re unethical in most aspects of their business practices and you deserve better (like the roof you're paying for!)

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