Misconceptions About Insurance Restoration Work

I’ve been an independent adjuster for more than 30 years. During that time, I’ve studied how contractors interact with insurance adjusters. In recent years, I’ve consulted or presented workshops for the restoration industry to help these professionals increase the market share of insurance claims work. You might say I’m a friend of the restoration industry, but I am still a practicing independent adjuster.

Many contractors who do business or hope to do business with insurance adjusters have misconceptions about the insurance claims industry and this affects their efforts to penetrate this fruitful market.

Whenever I meet rookies — those who know there is money to be made but have not had the opportunity, knowledge, or requisite experience to break into this market — I hear them make statements that just aren’t correct. At the start of my workshops, I solicit comments from the attendees as to what they understand about the current insurance claims market. The following is typical of what they say:

“Insurance companies will only accept XOXOXO estimating software.”

“You have to be a member of a preferred provider network.”

“You have to be on an insurance company’s approved list.”

“Adjusters don’t call a contractor to a claim.” “Adjusters don’t recommend a contractor on claims.”

“There’s no profit working insurance claims anymore.”

“Adjusters just want to chisel your estimates.”

“You can’t take adjusters to lunch, or they won’t accept promo and entertainment.”

“Agents can’t help you get any business; they’re all tied into provider networks.”

If you don’t know where to meet adjusters, and you don’t know how to meet adjusters, and you don’t know how to start relationships with adjusters, you’ve pretty much painted yourself into a corner. And if you believe any of the false statements made above, you’re talking to the wrong people.

Here’s the reason I’m bringing this up.

A few months ago (yes, September 2015) I (an independent adjuster) received a call from a managing general agent at about 4 p.m. on a Friday afternoon. Their insured discovered a flood in its commercial building. The MGA wanted to know if I could get a mitigation firm out there, not just for the water, but to handle contents pack-out and restoration as soon as possible.

A week after mitigation started, the policyholder was back in business. The pack-out and contents restoration was underway, and build- ing reconstruction was completed within the next month. Shortly thereafter, the claim was paid (about $50,000) and the file was closed.

Listen up: The MGA did not subscribe to a preferred vendor program. The MGA did not insist I use any particular mitigation firm or contractor. There was no preference as to estimating software.

Do you know what an MGA is? Do you know what an IA is? If not, you’re missing an incredible opportunity for business. Do you think that the only way to get mitigation or reconstruction work is through a preferred vendor program? Do you think there is only one software program acceptable to the insurance industry? If so, you need more education. How much is your lack of education costing you? RIA

Peter J. Crosa

Peter J. Crosa, AIC, RPA, is a practicing independent adjuster who writes, consults, and conducts workshops on how to increase the market share of insurance claims related restoration and mitigation jobs. He can be reached at peter@petercrosa.net. Find more information at petercrosa.net.

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