Arizona Passes House Bill 2091 Regarding Roofing Contractors

Arizona Passes House Bill 2091 Regarding Roofing Contractors

Each year, many Arizona homeowners are forced to engage in lengthy disputes with their homeowners insurance company or home repair contractors after their homeowners insurance claims are unfairly denied – sometimes after the contractors have already begun the repairs. A recently-passed Arizona law establishes guidelines for certain residential roofing repairs, and its stated aim is increasing transparency and fairness in this area.

Summary of HB 2091, Consumer Residential Repair Bill

During their second regular session of 2012, the Arizona House of Representatives passed House Bill 2091, and on April 10, 2012, Arizona Governor Janice K. Brewer signed it into law. Deemed the “consumer residential repair bill,” HB 2091 pertains to residential roofing repairs done following “catastrophic storms.”
The new law applies to specific areas of Arizona, determined by insurers. In summary, roofing contractors who are hired to repair a residence under these circumstances must:

  • Include on their contract a clause specifying that should the insurer deny the repair claim, the purchaser can cancel the contract within 72 hours of this
  • Include on their contract a clause specifying that the purchaser can cancel the repair contract within 4 days of signing it for any reason
  • Produce a repair estimate that meets several specifications, including a precise description of the damages and work to be done, a statement regarding whether or not an inspection was done prior to the estimate, a statement that the contractor has made no claims regarding insurance coverage for the repairs, and a declaration that if the repairs are not covered by insurance, that the purchaser will be responsible for the cost
  • Refund the appropriate down payment amount, should the homeowner cancel the contract according to the law
  • Require a down payment that is no greater than 50% of the cost of the repairs
  • Get written approval for any changes to the original contract
  • Notify the homeowner immediately should the contractor experience a change in their workers’ compensation coverage.

The law stipulates that failure to comply with these requirements could result in the contractor’s license being suspended or revoked. Additionally, a contractor who isn’t licensed per Arizona law (and who isn’t exempt from licensing requirements) cannot bring a civil action against a non-paying homeowner.

The new residential repair law prohibits contractors from negotiating settlements with insurance companies on the homeowners behalf, however, it does allow for contractors to communicate with insurers as long as permission from the insured is received, and the contractor is not compensated for this communication. The law also allows for insurers to directly pay both policyholders and contractors.

Working Toward Fairness for Arizona Consumers and the Storm Restoration Community

The new law brings Arizona in line with other states that maintain similar requirements for residential contractors.  And, the law makes important strides to ensure that there are serious legal consequences for non-compliant contractors who engage in the unauthorized practice of public adjusting or law.  Certainly, many public adjusters will view this as an important step forward for Arizona.  At the same time, residential contractors who comply with this new law should not find any restrictions harmful to the important and legitimate pursuit of assisting homeowners in need.

New Law Doesn’t Guarantee that Insurance Companies will Approve Claims

While this new law should benefit Arizona homeowners in many ways, it unfortunately doesn’t guarantee that insurance companies will honor their responsibilities to approve legitimate insurance claims, nor does the law impose any new consequences on homeowners insurers for their misconduct. If you’ve had a homeowners insurance claim unfairly denied in Arizona, the experienced attorneys at Doyle Raizner can help. Call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

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