Nebraska Legislature Debates Bill to Protect Homeowners Hiring Contractors After Storm Damage
LINCOLN, NE — Today the Nebraska Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee considered a very important measure that will protect consumers when they hire a roofer or contractor to repair damage caused by hail or other storm, says the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI). The bill, LB 220, creates critical disclosures and rights for policyholders.
“Unfortunately Nebraska is experiencing a trend exploding in other states like Colorado, Florida and Texas where the abusive activity by contractors and lawyers are not only driving up the rate of disputed claims and court actions but also the cost of insurance claims. When costs increase, consumers shoulder the brunt of those higher costs through increased insurance premiums,” said Kelly Campbell, PCI vice president of state affairs. “LB 220 is a common sense measure that ensures homeowners are informed of their rights and responsibilities when they sign a contract to have their home repaired.”
LB 220 amends Nebraska’s Homeowner Protection Act to allow a post-lost assignment of benefits contract if there are certain disclosures to the consumer including allowing the homeowner and roofer to be co-payees. The bill requires the assignment of benefits contract signed by the homeowners to also be provided to the insurer in a reasonable amount of time (five days) along with a detailed itemization of work and materials. LB 220 also specifies that an assignment does not limit an insurer’s ability to communicate with the homeowner. The bill also has additional consumer disclosure of existing Nebraska law that prohibits the waiver of deductible.
“Insurers want to make sure repairs are done quickly but also done the right way, without overpaying for the work. Insurers manage costs in order to provide affordable coverage to their policyholders,” said Campbell. “This bill makes sure insurers can continue to communicate with their client after a contractor is brought into the process. We urge members of the Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee to approve LB 220 and implement these important disclosures and protections for Nebraska homeowners.”