A recent report from Texas attorney Steven Badger, of Zelle Hoffman Voelbel & Mason LLP, explained the reasons behind the new laws separating roofers from adjusters. In two words: hail claims.
Texas is the top state for hail events, with hundreds of hail storms each year. According to Badger, hail is also the costliest event for insurance companies. Beginning after Hurricane Ike in 2008, a new “industry” emerged in the state in which licensed and unlicensed public adjusters, appraisers, consultants, roofing contractors and attorneys all became hurricane experts, seeking a piece of the more than a billion dollars a year problem of hail events in Texas.
The situation evolved into one where the contractor, also acting as an insurance or public adjuster, started offering roofing repairs on a contingency basis, completing those repairs with the insurance proceeds and — in some cases and against Texas law — even offered to pay the insured’s deductible. And, complicating matters, if the roofer acting as a public adjuster is unable to negotiate payment for his own services, then an attorney may enter the picture along with a hail damage lawsuit (currently such lawsuits are at an all-time high) against the insurance company. All of this eventually results in Texas having the highest homeowner premiums in the country.
The new law expressly states that a roofing contractor may not act as a public adjustor or adjust the claims of any property in which the contractor is providing or may provide roofing services. If you have hail damage or any other sort of property damage, it is vital that you have someone on your side, acting on your behalf and free of any conflicts of interest. Keep your public adjuster separate from the contractor who will be doing the repairs. For more information, contact us.