Break the Vicious Circle With Insurance Adjusters
“Let’s face it; the property damage insurance claim environment has become increasingly adversarial in recent years. There is plenty of blame to go around. Some adjusters are too heavy-handed in adjusting and some restorers are too heavy-handed in billing. Insurers who routinely chop 25% off every restoration invoice as a matter of course cannot reasonably expect restorers not to invoice in a way that leaves them some room to bargain. The two sides intensify their efforts against one another, inexorably worsening the situation as the vicious circle grows, to the detriment of all involved, particularly the policyholder.” Read the full article…
The duty of insurers is outlined in the contract of insurance, the laws interpreting the contract, and insurance regulations. The insurer is only required to pay the fair market value to repair damage from a covered claim to pre-loss condition. Costs not covered by the insurance contract are the responsibility of the customer.
Fair market value is the price that willing buyers frequently pay willing sellers in the marketplace for that level of service. This definition is not one number; instead, it is a range of numbers that vary depending on many factors such as location, supply availability, quality of workmanship, etc. This range in the fair market value also reflects the value of services being rendered. Like in all areas of life, some companies are high-performing top-notch service providers, and some have inadequate training and workmanship.
The result is a broad range of companies in the adjusters’ files. How is the adjuster to know how the restorer handled the job? The answer is documentation. The file should be a well-documented story. A stranger should be able to open the file, read the contract, understand the scope and see change orders for any deviations from the original agreement. They should comprehend through indicators (arrows) and labeling the 5 W’s of that image: who captured the photo, what the image is pointing out or showing, when did it occur, where it was taken.
If the file is lacking documentation, how is anyone to know if the damage occurred in the rooms invoiced or if the work detailed in the scope was indeed provided? The file is your safeguard to getting paid.
Read The Book on Restoration Collections to learn more about improving your documentation and communications with adjusters.