New law affects contractors who perform storm repairs

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018 by Suzie Elliott

What changed?

  • State law  prohibits contractors from offering to pay homeowners’ insurance deductibles or offering anything of value as encouragement to enter into a contract to repair damage covered by an insurance claim.
  • A new law (effective since Aug. 1, 2018) requires that contractors include a written notification about the law in their “initial estimate." The "initial estimate" also includes price agreeable contracts.
  • The new law also requires insurance companies to provide a similar written notification to homeowners in their initial correspondence about a claim.

Why the change?

  • Many contractors who have complied with the law that prohibits paying deductibles have lost business to contractors who illegally offer to pay deductibles or offer rebates or upgrades that are barred.
  • Homeowners are unclear about this law and some still expect their contractor to help with insurance deductible costs. This new law provides contractors with solid information to show that this practice is simply illegal.

State law (Minn. Stat. § 325E.66) prohibits contractors from offering to pay a customer’s insurance deductible or offering anything of value as an inducement to enter into a contract for home repairs that are to be paid for as a part of an insurance claim. Contractors who make such an offer are subject to public enforcement action by the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, including fines of up to $10,000 per violation.





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