An Open Letter to…

There’s a morning radio program I listen to which features a weekly “Open Letter” to some random topic. This week’s topic was, “An Open Letter to People Who Text and Drive”. It began (as they all do) with – “Here’s an open letter to people who text and drive. Dear people who text and drive – seriously?”

While listening to that segment, I had the idea to craft my very own Open Letter addressing some of the egregious – some may say ridiculous, insurance carrier estimating guidelines. Here goes…

Dear Carrier Estimating Guidelines – seriously?

To start, let me remind you that the contractors you are imposing these guidelines on are the very ones you have already put your confidence in to competently service your insured, and provide fair estimates (using mandated estimating platforms) for services rendered.

Let me also remind you, these contractors did not develop the estimating programs or the line items for services contained within the programs. They are simply tasked to select the line items available which represent the work performed.

Let’s highlight some of these ridiculous carrier guidelines…

Carriers who do not allow after hours line items (except possibly and after-hours service call – but no others) – just wow. What you’re saying is you really don’t appreciate the crew who gets called out at 2 a.m., leaves their family on the weekend or holiday, to service your insured. You don’t appreciate the additional costs incurred by contractors to fairly compensate that crew for giving up their time – for you and your insured. It’s about a 30% increase between during hours and after-hours line items, and they are included in the estimating programs for a reason – because it’s fair.

Carriers who claim respirators, or furniture moving pads, are “a tool of the trade” – what? There are line items in the estimating programs for both. Do you have any idea what it takes to maintain a respiratory protection program? You must have your technicians medically evaluated, fit tested, and properly trained to don, doff, and maintain the devices. Respirators are not cheap, and the cost of getting technicians compliant is significant. Randomly selecting items required to service your insured, especially items related to the health and safety of workers, as “tools of the trade” and not allowing charges for these items on estimates tells me you have little concern for the health and safety of our workers.

No supervisor hours allowed – are you kidding me? It’s a good thing our supervisors love their job so much they don’t ask for any pay – same for yours? So, let’s just throw the technicians out on a large contents pack out job with no supervision, no inventory control – just let them do their thing – sound good to you, carrier? Of course not, and we wouldn’t let that happen – despite this ridiculous guideline. Some jobs require higher level supervision and there should be adequate compensation provided – that’s why supervisory line items are included in the estimating programs.

Ok – one more for now, but I could go on and on…

Carriers who dictate the allowable hours for monitoring – C’mon Man! I’m convinced it won’t be long until some carriers mandate remote monitoring so they don’t have to pay for a daily site visit. Some carriers determine the allowable charges for daily monitoring based on the number of pieces of equipment placed. Where did this come from? A detailed, intelligent daily monitoring of a drying project is arguably the most important part of the job. It takes what it takes and certainly isn’t driven by the number of air movers placed.

We’ll save FEMA’s W-13025a guidelines for another time. These would have our Godfather of drying, John Dalton, rolling over in his grave.

For those of you experiencing these carrier guideline restrictions – either keep fighting the good fight or walk away. There may come a time when contractors feel these programs and restrictions are simply unacceptable – leaving the carriers and their insureds to find resources outside of the network and not bound by their guidelines.

Hmm – then what?


Until next month,

Nasty 7 out.

Scott Walden

Scott Walden

Chief Operating Officer

Scott Walden is the Chief Operating Officer for Team VetCor, LLC and VetCor, LLC; a veteran manned and managed insurance services franchise company specializing in emergency services for property damage.

Civilian Life

Scott holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Black Hills State University (cum laude), and an MBA from the Florida Technical University. Prior to joining Team VetCor, he served as the Director of Training and Customer Support for M.I.C. Industries, Inc. In this role he developed and managed the company’s training program, designed to provide high-level instruction in the operation and maintenance of the company’s machinery and software to domestic and international customers. In addition, he handled oversight of all aspects of the company’s customer support operation. Scott is currently an Approved IICRC Instructor, IICRC Master Water Restorer, and a Florida licensed Mold Remediator and Mold Assessor.

Military Life

Scott Walden served in the United States Army from October 1983 until his retirement as a Sergeant Major in November 2006. He served throughout the United States and overseas in every leadership position from Team Leader to Brigade Operations Sergeant Major.

You can find his column, Full Disclosure, in the 1st Tuesday of every month in C&R’s weekly enews. You can reach Scott at

Hey there! We're glad you're here!

This content is only available for subscribers. Please enter your email below to verify your subscription.

Don't worry! If you are not a subscriber, simply enter your email below and fill out the information on the next page to subscribe for FREE!

Back to homepage