Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that proponents say will help protect homeowners from unscrupulous contractors.
Senate Bill 101 bars contractors who fix roofs or do other exterior repairs from offering to pay a homeowner’s insurance deductible as an incentive to be hired. Contractors would also be barred from representing or negotiating on a homeowner’s behalf for insurance claims.
Supporters say the legislation is particularly timely because of damage to Missouri homes from recent tornadoes, hailstorms and other disasters.
The Senate passed the measure 31-0 in March. The House approved it May 3 on a vote of 148-1, sending it to Gov. Jay Nixon.
SB 101 “will ensure that homeowners and others who have suffered damage to their property are not then battered by the unscrupulous acts of ‘storm vultures,’ those out-of-area scam artists who flock to hard hit areas and defraud vulnerable citizens, particularly seniors,” said Mark Johnston, State Affairs manager – Midwest Region, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies.
“SB 101 mandates clearer disclosure in repair contracts,” he added. “To combat the storm vulture practice of engaging in high pressure sales pitches in order to obtain a signature on a contract for unneeded repairs, such as replacement of an entire roof that has sustained only minor damage, the bill gives the consumer additional time to revoke the contract if it turns out that all or part of the work is not covered.”