There’s a serious obstacle in the way of the Texas roof repair industry that needs some serious hurdling. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) recently found out that questionable insurance claims (QCs) filed in the state have jumped to 50 percent since 2010. The NICB report was based on information submitted by member insurance firms that provide comprehensive coverage in the “Lone Star State.”
Three years ago, 370 QCs were identified to have come from Texas, where an established Katy roofing company and other city firms operate in. In 2011 and 2012, the number grew to 381 then 557 respectively, with El Paso on top of the list of Texas territories that had dubious insurance claims related to roofing. The cities of Arlington and Fort Worth were next on the list.
The common “loss types” or reasons given in the roofing QCs were hail and mechanical damage sustained by residential and commercial buildings during certain extreme weather conditions. The NICB recognizes that the jump in QCs could have been caused by what it referred to as “epic weather-related events” in Texas. The state had experienced massive storms in recent years, which resulted in millions of dollars worth of property damage.
QCs are coverage sought by claimants which do not have the required stipulations that can make a claim legitimate. Although the NICB clarified that they are “not definitive acts of fraud” up front, questionable insurance claims may have false and exaggerated content. Such claims will be subject to thorough review to prevent the release of remuneration to unworthy applicants.
The NICB’s recent report is another challenge to an emerging advocacy among legitimate Texas roofing businesses and legislators to weed fraudsters out of the ranks, and get industry clients and players on the up and up. There are bills (HB 888 and SB 311) now awaiting passage in the US House and Senate that are seen to prevent insurance and roofing fraud. Included in the legislation are the state licensing of all roofing businesses in Texas, and registration of such with the Texas Department of Insurance for purposes of regulation.
Established roofing companies in Katy, TX, such as the Summit Roofing and Restoration, support the bills and see no harm in other requirements set forth in the HB and SB. It will, in fact, benefit reputable companies like them that do not engage in fraud of any kind. Aside from licensing, standard form contracts for roofers and homeowners, and a clause prohibiting roofers from adjusting insurance claims, are in the pending legislation as well.