First, sorry if this is really long, but this forum is fantastic and I thought you guys might be the place to find the info I need. You guys are a tremendous source of information and I’ve been binge reading your posts for the last day or two. I’m hoping there are some folks on here who are or have worked in Texas and can help with a question I have on insurance work.
I’m in the process of soliciting bids for a full roof replacement due to a hail storm we had last year. Thankfully, my insurance carrier approved a full replacement and has been rather generous with the overall claim value and a very low assigned recoverable depreciation. So all is well on that front insurance-wise.
However, in my process of getting bids, I have had multiple long-standing reputable contractors in town suggest a variety of freebies, rebates, advertising fees and whatnot. Unfortunately, I can not find any simple legal document for my state (Texas) that spells out what is legal to negotiate for or not.
Now clearly I do not want to do anything illegal, nor do I want to incur the wrath of my insurance carrier, whom I rather like. That being said, I am more than happy to take advantage of discounts and spiffs during the slow season if such things are allowed.
So for anyone who works in Texas…what exactly is allowed? From what I’ve read online and what the contractors say, the lists below are what is and is not allowed:
-Upgrades on insurable scope of work for discount/free (laminated shingles instead of 3-tab, better underlayment, better pipe jacks, etc), but they have to be on the insurance invoice at whatever cost we agree on, including $0.
-Negotiating upgrades outside of scope of work for discount/free (free gutters, free window screens, upgraded gutters), but they can not be on the insurance invoice.
-Modest/reasonable credit for advertising/reviews/referrals (like $500, not $2000).
-Negotiating upgrades in workmanship (6-nail pattern vs. 4-nail, starter shingles on both rakes/eaves) and warranties (7 or 10-year workmanship vs. 3-5 year workmanship).
-Anything with double invoicing to insurance
-Any direct money transfer
-Any upfront waiving of deductible
-Two companies have told me that they can rebate me back a portion of my deductible after the job is complete and paid in full as a materials rebate, provided the rebate is less than my deductible. Normally, this would raise my insurance fraud hackles, but they both seem upfront about it and these are two of the biggest/oldest/best reviewed contractors in town. They are not storm chases or fly-by-nights, so I don’t know what to make of this.
You guys are great and any help you can give on this would be greatly appreciated. I hope you are all doing well and keeping busy in the winter season. Thanks!