Ask Amy: Storm damage repair warning

Storm contractor warning + Dealership financing advice

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Living in Houston, we have had our fair share of storms and unfortunately, storm damage. Today, many new people are dealing with damage to their homes after yesterday’s powerful storms. So, it’s worth warning you about thieves that prey on people who are dealing with damage to their homes and cars.

If you have storm damage you need to get fixed right away and someone stops by your home with the tools to make it happen, it’s tempting to take the help. But wait a minute to make sure you don’t sign something you’ll regret.

What if a contractor tells me they can waive my deductible?

Roofers and repair people who ask about your insurance information before they even know the extent of your damage are usually up to no good.

  • If a contractor says they can waive your deductible this is a huge red flag and is illegal! A deductible is part of your home insurance policy. It’s against the law for contractors to waive your deductible or help you avoid paying it.
  • If your home or property was damaged your first call should be to your insurance company. The insurance company may recommend roofers for the job, but it is entirely your choice which company to hire.

*From things to do right now to what to ask your insurance agent, we’ve got everything you need to know about filing a claim and avoiding scams.

Can a dealership require you to use their financing?

We are always looking for ways to save you money on things that impact your life. This week we are focusing on new car prices how to get the best deal. For a lot of people, shopping for a new car has always been intimidating and frustrating and even more so in today’s market with higher prices. A lot of you have questions if a dealership can require you use their in-house financing.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

As people try to negotiate the price of a new vehicle many times that means getting price quotes and pre-approval for financing. But we’ve had people tell us when they show up with the pre-approval the dealership says the price they quoted was contingent on you using their in-house financing. You want to know if they can do this. Mike Rumple from Your Car Buying Advocate joined me for an episode of Ask Amy. He says yes, they can do this. But there is a way around it.

“You expect me to pay a crazy high interest rate? Ok I’ll play the game. I’ll finance it with you for a month and a half, pay an extra 2% interest and then you just refinance it.”

You just have to make sure there is no prepayment penalty, which Rumple says is rare these days. Another thing Rumple points out, if you do plan on re-financing like this the dealer could be charged back on the commission.

So, if they know this is your plan, they may negotiate a lower rate with you.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

See what car makers have to say about dealerships charging over MSRP. You can find the full Ask Amy episode with Rumple here.

Do you have an episode idea? We are working to bring you more information on consumer-related news you can use. Email if you have an idea for a topic!

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.