Every once in a while our company is asked if we can “bury” a prospective client’s deductible. We are often told that a previous contractor who completed repairs to the home did the work without collecting the deductible. I have no doubt that such persons are telling the truth, since such occurrences are far from rare. I also have no doubt that the deal these homeowners think they have gotten will cost them more than their deductible in the long run.
Do you ever recall hearing the addage that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”? On many occasions I have visited homes with new damages shortly after repairs had been completed by a contractor who “buried” the homeowners deductible. And I know where they buried it! They buried it in shortcuts they took on the job in an effort to reduce their overall cost. And they buried it just long enough to get out of town or close their business only to reopen with a new name. In their aftermath is a homeowner with new damage and no insurance coverage due to the poor workmanship of a contractor who they thought was doing them a favor. Now the homeowner is left with the task of tracking down the contractor, if possible, to pursue litigation to recover the monies they must now spend to repair their home.
In light of the foregoing, may I humbly offer some suggestions to you if you find yourself vis-a-vis with a contractor willing to “bury your deductible”? First, and foremost, are they a licensed and insured contractor within your state? How long have they been in business in your local area? Can they provide references from other residents in your area for which they have performed work? Have you checked with your insurance company to see if they are familiar with this contractor?
Bottom line: Set your deductible at a level you can comfortably pay in the event of a covered loss. Then, choose a local, reputable contractor to repair your home. They will be there to stand behind their work if a problem arises later.