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Image of a roof with damage.

Wind and hail storms are common in Minnesota, and when a storm hits, contractors looking to repair damage are not far behind.

Minnesota has laws and rules that govern how these contractors operate and DLI encourages you to familiarize yourself with the following important issues:

If you sign it, it’s a contract

  • Many contractors’ representatives will ask you to sign a document early in their dealings with you. They may say it’s to authorize them to go onto your roof or to allow them to talk to your insurance company.

  • No written authority is required for either of these tasks.

  • In most cases, what you’re being asked to sign is a contract – a “price agreeable contract.

What is a “price agreeable contract”?

  • A price agreeable contract is a legally binding agreement in which you agree to allow the contractor to propose a scope of work and a price to your insurance company, and to let the contractor perform the work if they and the insurance company come to an agreement on the scope and price.

  • It usually will not have dollar amounts printed on it, since the contract price will be the amount that the contractor and your insurance company agree to for the work.

  • Once you sign, you are obligated to allow the contractor to do all the repair work that your insurance company agrees to cover – you only have to pay your deductible.

  • The time to decide on a contractor is before you sign a contract. If you decide not to use the contractor after signing you may be subject to a hefty cancellation fee, which you’ll find in the contract’s fine print.

Can I cancel a contract?

  • In general terms, a contract is binding and cancellation is subject to the terms of the contract itself.

  • Most price agreeable contracts contain a cancellation provision that requires you to pay a percentage of your insurance claim proceeds  – usually 20% to 30%  – if you want to cancel after you sign the contract.

  • Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 325G.07) allows you to cancel a “home solicitation sale” before midnight of the third business days following the sale, but this applies only if the contractor initiated contact with you at your home without you contacting them first.

  • You can cancel a roofing contract if your insurance company denies your claim (Minn. Stat. 326B.811).

Can a contractor pay my deductible?

  • No. Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 325E.66) prohibits contractors from offering to pay all or part of a consumer’s insurance deductible.

  • Additionally, contractors cannot try to get you to sign a contract by offering you:

    • a yard sign allowance (pay you for putting their sign in your yard),

    • free materials upgrade (usually relating to shingles),

    • free meal at a local restaurant,

    • any other rebate, discount or anything of value.

  • Contractors who break this law may be fined up to $10,000 for each violation.

How do I choose a contractor?

  • First, resist any high-pressure sales tactics used by the first contractors that appear at your door after a storm.

  • Remember not to sign any document until you’ve decided which contractor you want to work with. Once you sign, you’re obligated to work with that contractor.

  • Talk to neighbors, family, friends and coworkers to get a referral for a contractor they liked working with.

  • Make sure the contractor has a valid state license issued by DLI. Check a contractor's license status here

  • Check with the Better Business Bureau for any reported problems with the contractor.

  • Search the state’s court system website to see if the contractor has been involved in lawsuits, has judgments against them or has had legal problems.

  • Use the web to search for any other information about the contractor.

What if I have other questions?

 DLI’s Construction Codes and Licensing Division’s Enforcement Unit has investigators available to answer any questions you may have about working with contractors.