Why choose a 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractor, contractor rep or Public Adjuster?
The results shown in the above center photo and clickable thumbprint photos on either side says it all!
Up until just a few short years ago, the "insurance claims specialist" misnomer or similar title could still be used as a substitute for actual substantive insurance claims process training and experience in convincing property owners with insurance covered damage to do business with which ever contractor, contractor representative or public insurance adjuster (PA) was making the claim. That was then, this is now. Today, because of the over abundance of oft deserved negative publicity regarding the "insurance claims specialist" or similar claims made by so many who are not, property owners have rightly become leery and suspect of anyone making such claims.
As a result, those millions of insured property owners across the country are no longer accepting the "insurance claim specialist" or similar claim at face value. Instead, they are rightly expecting and demanding that any contractor, contractor representative, or public adjuster professing insurance claims expertise prove their training and their competence in the same manner as a Doctor, a lawyer, a dentist, a pilot or any other serious professional is required to prove theirs, through documented training certification (possession of a contractor's license, a public adjusters license, and/or association memberships does not accomplish that goal).
Several years ago, after nearly four decades of residential and light commercial retail and insurance repair construction industry contracting experience plus twenty years of concurrent in depth insurance and investment industry experience where my advice was sought by owners of and companies owned by nationally known business leaders such as Mackay, Dayton, Adducci and others, I decided to put together the 3RSystems, LLC insurance claim training program to teach contractors, contractor reps, and PA's how to process insurance claim repair work to the maximum advantage and benefit of property owner's who have suffered storm or other insurance covered property damage. Contractors, contractor reps, and PA's who complete the program are then awarded with the designation of trained 3RSystems, LLC Commercial and Residential Property Damage Insurance Claim Consultants (ICC).
Become an informed consumer
I created this site as a way to educate property owners on how the insurance claims process really works and how the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry far too often fails miserably in fulfilling their promises to their policy holders. The same holds true for many state insurance/commerce departments who often place more focus on protecting the interests of the insurance industry rather than the tax paying, voting consumers who pay billions of dollars in insurance premiums every year.
Contrary to the popular belief of far too many property owners who haven't suffered damage to their properties as a result of a severe weather or other disastrous event and therefore have never had to file a claim with their property & casualty insurance company, the likelihood of any of them being offered a 100% settlement payment on their insurance claim is less than 1%. More often than not, they (you) will be offered an initial percentage settlement that is far below the actual cost of repairing the damage if you are offered anything at all.
Premiums for property and casualty insurance policies are, logically, actuarially based on what it would cost a property owner whose property was damaged to have the damage repaired using the real, true and accurate (RTA) cost that an experienced professional fully licensed and insured contractor using quality materials and experienced installers would charge in the future. However, the settlements that most insured's are offered are typically based on the "survey" costs of lower quality materials and less experienced installers who may or may not carry general liability (GL) and workmen's compensation (WC) insurance. Those pricing surveys are conducted by a subsidiary owned and controlled by the same organization that "assists" property & casualty insurance companies with pricing their premiums. The end result is that the P&C insurance companies charge premiums based on higher future potential costs and then typically attempt to pay their insured's claims at below current pro contractor real, true, and accurate RTA market rates.
For example: Assuming the RTA value/cost of your repair is $40,000, more often than not, the insurance company you send your premiums to will usually do one of two things; they will either deny the claim altogether or, more likely, they will estimate the damage substantially below the RTA market rate. If the RTA cost of your repairs is $40,000 and the insurance company offers you $25,000 and you accept their offer, you will forever forfeit the additional $15,000 owed to you by them.
"Deny, delay, defend"...Insurance companies regularly deny legitimate damage claims and make low settlement offers. They often delay payment of claims or defend non-payment of legitimate claims...all in an effort to save money (theirs) - see The Insurance Hoax. They know that some insured's will accept the unwarranted denials and low offers and move on. They also know and expect that some insured's will be unhappy with an unwarranted denial or low offer and will demand a better (deserved) settlement offer and will begrudgingly increase their initial offer to some degree. If insurance adjusters and/or in house claim reps can convince property owners to accept the increased (but still insufficient) offers, the still too low claims are paid and the files are closed...and the adjusters and in house claims representatives keep their jobs.
Now, since you pay premiums to your insurance company for coverage based on future RTA rates, doesn't it therefore make sense that your P&C insurance provider should settle your claim at least at current RTA rates rather than attempt to "deny, delay or defend" and leave you less than whole? Of course it does. You deserve no less.
Settling your claim...the wrong way and the right way - "free" estimates?
You've been paying your premiums and your property has sustained substantial damage...what do you do next? Unfortunately, many property owners follow the recommendation of their P&C insurance companies and/or conventional "wisdom" which is to get "free" estimates from several contractors. Getting estimates is fine for anyone simply considering retail remodel property improvements but the last thing an insured property owner with insurance covered storm damage should do. Here's why.
Since free estimate contractors who estimate your repair job will have also given estimates to many others (typically, after a severe weather event, several thousand properties are damaged at the same time), their focus will more likely be on signing up as many jobs as possible for some money rather than making sure you get paid full RTA on your repair job which is what you want, need and deserve. And, since free estimate contractors typically will need to complete more jobs than a 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractor who gets you paid as close to RTA pricing as possible, overall per job quality may suffer.
As you saw in the above photos, and as more and more property owners are coming to understand, even when the claim is made by contractors and PA's with years of experience, the suspect "Insurance claims specialist" or similar claim made by non 3RSystems, LLC trained contractors and PA's is often quite meaningless. After a wind and hail storm had come through the area where the property in the center picture is located, the only obvious damage to the property was the several pieces of aluminum fascia trim that was just barely hanging from one of the gables. The property is owned by an executive who works for the investment side of an internationally known financial planning firm that also offers property & casualty insurance so he naturally thought that purchasing his homeowner's insurance policy from the P&C insurance side of the company he worked for made sense.
Seeing that damage after the storm and following the advice given to him when he called to file a claim, the owner called for "free" repair estimates from several different contractors - each who claimed years of experience and each who presented themselves as "insurance claims specialists". Two of the contractors agreed to give estimates of the cost to repair the damage. Their respective "insurance claims specialist" damage repair estimates? $500 and $600. Having heard about my years of experience in both the construction and insurance/investment industries, the property owner called me and asked for my assessment of the damage and my help with the claim. The end result? A full and complete $42,500 insurance claim settlement ($42,000 insurance paid and $500 deductible paid by the owner) that allowed the owner to replace all of his damaged roofing, siding, fascia trim, gutters and downspouts and other miscellaneous items that had been damaged by the wind and hail storm.
Rather than following any P&C insurance company's recommendation to get several estimates, the correct approach - for property owners with insured storm damage - is to choose to work with a 3RSystems, LLC trained ICC contractor or PA who is willing to make a commitment to you by way of a "contingency agreement" contract that states that if the contractor is successful in helping you to achieve full and fair payment on your claim, you agree to have that contractor do the work. A properly written contingency agreement contract will state that if the insurance company legitimately denies your claim, the contingency agreement contract will become null and void and you will owe nothing to the contractor.
Whether titled as a Proposal, Agreement or Contract, as long as it contains an offer which is typically an offer to ensure the accuracy of the insurance company's claim settlement offer to make sure that all damage is accounted for and to complete the repairs as listed in the insurance company's final settlement offer that all parties have agreed to in exchange for consideration - the insured's promise to pay the contractor for the repairs and the insured's acceptance of and agreement to the terms, a legal and binding contract is established. That, of course, makes much more sense then obligating yourself to a straight contract based on a "free" estimate written prior to coming to an agreement with the insurance company on what will be paid and at what price if the insurance company legitimately denies payment for items written into the contract.
Example: A minority of contractors will give "free" estimates on storm damage claims and convince the property owner that they are certain the insurance company will approve and pay the claim per the contractors estimate, for example; at $30,000. Insurance company denies the claim or only offers to pay $20,000 and for less work but the contractor holds the property owner to their contract at $30,000. You never want to be put in that position. The opposite side of that "coin" is that the "free" estimate contractor offers to do the work for $20,000 on a job that the insurance company agreed to pay $30,000 and the property owner sees the additional $10,000 as their money. Neither option is ever a positive for the insured property owner.
After you have signed the contingency agreement contract, your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA will meet with your insurance company adjuster to assess the damage. If an insurance adjuster has already inspected your property prior to your signing of a contingency agreement contract with your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA, it is likely that the insurance adjuster missed damaged items and/or underpriced repairs. If that is the case (99% of the time, that will be the case), your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA will inspect your property for damage then compare his/her evaluation and pricing to the insurance adjusters estimate which would have been sent to you by the insurance adjuster.
That estimate is called a "loss report" or "scope of loss report." Keep in mind that, since the loss report that forms the basis of your claim is sent to you directly, you are never in the dark regarding what work is proposed and at what price. If your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA finds that your insurance company missed and/or underpriced damage they will tell you and urge you to call for a re-inspection where your contractor or PA and the same or other insurance adjuster (recommended) will meet to conduct a re-inspection.
If an insurance adjuster has not inspected your property prior to your signing of the contingency agreement contract you will want to make sure that your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA knows when an adjuster will be doing so. The when is determined by you when you demand that an adjuster conduct their inspection on a specific date and time chosen by you. Your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA whose training qualifies him or her to know best what is damaged and how much it will cost to repair the damage will meet with the adjuster to point out the damage then audit the loss report you will receive a few days later from the adjuster. If damaged items are missing and/or the pricing is too low relative to the premiums you paid to your P&C insurance company and the true cost of repairs in your area (again, 99% of the time, that will be the case), your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA will be happy to speak with the adjuster or in house claims representative at your request regarding any discrepancies' in order to make sure your claim is fairly and fully paid.
About contingency agreement contracts: Contingency agreements contracts are not blank contracts. There are legal and binding agreements that either convert into a full legal and binding contract if the insurance company agrees to pay for the repair work as listed and priced by your contractor or PA and approved by you or become null and void if the insurance company fully and legitimately denies your claim. Know that staff and independent P&C insurance adjusters regularly miss, omit and or deny legitimate damage worth many millions of dollars every year. Everything that gets written into your contingency agreement contract is taken from the loss reports that are sent directly to you by your P&C insurance company so you will always know what work has been approved and at what price. The only time the total price of your repair work might be higher than what the insurance company has agreed to pay and you have agreed to accept is when you have asked your contractor for an upgrade from the original materials that were damaged.
What is a "Preferred" Contractor and why don't you want one?
Generally, "preferred" contractors are contractors who are willing to forgo their business autonomy in exchange for a guarantee of steady work provided to them by P&C insurance companies who set their rates and rules. Those rates, if you have not already figured it out from your reading of "The Insurance Hoax", are typically below real, true and accurate RTA market pricing and are rarely if ever relative to the insurance premiums you pay. Agreeing to work with a P&C insurance company appointed and contracted "preferred" contractor whose workload and ultimate earnings are determined and controlled by the insurance company - while a great and money saving benefit for the insurance company, is never a benefit to the insured property owner with damage who wants to and deserves to be fully and properly paid on their claim. Since "preferred" contractors are beholden to the insurance companies they work for, they have no incentive to and are generally discouraged from, assisting insured property owners with their claims when it has become apparent that doing so would be helpful to the insured property owners. Doing so would likely be grounds for dissolution of the "preferred" contractor agreement which guarantees that steady flow of work from the P&C insurance company to the "preferred" contractor. Trusting a P&C insurance company representative's averment that using one of their "preferred" contractors is in your best interests - is not in your best interests.
Spat Over Secret Commerce Deal Builds - "Glenn Wilson and the Commerce Department is reducing fines with insurance companies and making it harder for consumers and easier for big-money insurance," said Mahoney, who serves on the House Commerce, Jobs and Economic Development Committee. StarTribune - Minneapolis, MN 2003
The "No Negotiating" / "PA's only" Push
Even though professional contractors have been negotiating with insurance companies on behalf of their customers for many decades in order to help them to achieve the best possible settlements on their claims, the P&C insurance industry, with the support of P&C industry friendly state legislators - many who are employed in the P&C insurance industry, along with self serving insurance/commerce commissioners, P&C insurance industry lobbyists and others, have gotten behind two particular state by state template rubber stamp bills generally referred to as "No Negotiating" and "PA's only" that, when signed into law by ill-informed state Governor's, prohibit contractors from negotiating on behalf of their customers who have suffered storm or other insurance covered damage. To further protect the interests of the P&C insurance industry, in most states, the legislation is written in such a way as to prohibit contractors and PA's from working together on claims - for obvious reasons. It also takes from millions of property owners across the country - including you, the right to appoint the contractor of their choice to do so to any great degree.
Although the great majority of legislators would never vote for such legislation if they thought through how it ultimately affects their constituents (as well as their own political futures), they repeatedly fall for the ruse offered up by the bills author's (again, many/most of those authors derive their income's from the P&C insurance industry) that such legislation is consumer protection which it is not. Too often, non author legislators who are more concerned about being accepted by their more veteran legislative peers and/or being chosen for "prestigious" committee positions than in serving their constituents, vote for these bill's without thinking through or even grasping the real harm and cost to their constituents if the bills are signed into law.
The real reason behind the push? Experienced professional contractors who do the same work day in and day out know better than anyone else the real and true repair costs and they charge accordingly - not at the future rates on which your premiums are calculated but at current and reasonable pro contractor RTA market rates. Therefore, it makes sense that the people who know best should be the one's making sure their customers are fully paid on their claims. But, if the bureaucrats and self serving state legislative author's mentioned could, on behalf of the P&C insurance companies that many of them are paid by, force contractors out of the process, the P&C insurance companies would save many millions of dollars each year that should have been fairly and properly paid out on claims. "No Negotiating" / "PA's only" legislation, when signed into law by state Governor's who are typically not clear on what it is they are signing (and a couple who are/were), helps them to achieve that goal.
The legislator's who are behind the "No Negotiating" push knew they would never get away with attempting to pass legislation into law that would directly prohibit you and the other estimated 75,000,000 tax paying, voting and insurance premium paying property owners nationwide from freely exercising their right to choose a contractor to advocate for them, represent their interests and negotiate on their behalf. But, by prohibiting contractors from doing so, the effect is the same - your right to freely choose, your right to appoint your contractor to represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf has been taken away from you by the politicians who have passed such legislation and the Governor's who have signed the bills into law.
If you live in a state where "No Negotiating" has been signed into law which resulted in your rights to appoint a contractor to represent your interests and negotiate on your behalf being taken away, you are left with two other options: one is to hire and pay a Public Adjuster a percentage of your claim to do the same thing that a contractor would do at no additional charge or trust that your P&C insurance company and their adjusters will deal fairly with you. If you took the time to read through the "The Insurance Hoax" article through the above link, you will have probably concluded that your third option is the least attractive.
Most homeowners take what insurers offer because they don't realize they're being deceived or conclude that fighting is too costly and difficult, Bach says. "Virtually everyone who settles for what the insurer offers is taking less than they're owed," she says. "The Insurance Hoax"
"The contractor (or PA) is charging too much?"
Often, after an insurance company claim rep has reviewed an insured's repair quote prepared by the insured's chosen contractor, they will call the insured and tell them their contractor is charging too much - even going so far on some occasions to imply that a contractor "is trying to rip them off" and suggest to or tell the insured to get other estimates. Another common ruse is to tell insured's they know of other contractors who will do the job for much less (think of their "preferred" contractors if you hear that one). 99% of the time, this is nothing more than a bad faith attempt on the part of the insurance company adjuster or in house claim rep to cause the insured to question the integrity of the contractor, cause strife between the contractor and the insured and cause the insured to consider illegally breaching their contract with the contractor. Besides being bad faith, it is also Tortious Interference (i.e., causing harm by intentionally disrupting a contractual relationship or harming a business relationship or activity, for example, by raising suspicions or telling lies or simply implying that something is true). Wayward staff and independent insurance adjusters concerned with staying employed commit the above offense on a regular basis.
The fact that a contractor or PA estimates property damage much higher than an insurance company initially offers rarely means the contractor or PA is pricing the repair costs too high. Usually, it means that the insurance company is offering the insured substantially less than they should be paying relative to the premiums paid by the insured. The insurance company does not care if the insured gets into legal trouble by breaching their contract based on the errant advice of a wayward insurance adjuster or in house claims rep. Typically, all they care about is paying out as little as possible on each claim.
Remember - your signed contingency agreement contract will initially include everything including cancellation clauses (additionally, often separate) that will make up your contract except a description of the damaged items and the pricing. That description and the pricing will all be shown on the loss report that your insurance company adjuster or in house claims rep sends you. Once your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA properly estimates the damage and costs then agrees that the final loss report is accurate and includes all damaged items at a fair and proper price, you and your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor will simply transfer that information onto the contingency agreement contract that has converted into a full contract because the insurance company has agreed to fully and fairly pay your claim as a result of your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor's or PA's efforts on your behalf. At that time, you can then choose the colors, types of materials, etc. you want as well as include any upgrades that you agree to pay extra for.
Since, overall, experienced contractors typically know better than P&C insurance company hired adjusters what needs to be repaired and what it should really cost, insurance companies, as illustrated previously, don't want them involved. If your insurance company attempts to pay you $20,000 on a claim that a professional, fully insured contractor would legitimately charge $25,000 for, that "costs" the insurance company money, at least in their eyes. The job of the 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA is to make sure the insurance company pays you fully and fairly on your claim. In the above example - $25,000. That "extra" $5,000 in the example above belongs to you, not the insurance company.
With a contingency agreement contract, even after your right to cancel has expired you are still under no obligation to the contingency contractor if the insurance company legitimately denies your claim - legitimately being the key word. That should be clearly spelled out for you in "plain English" on the front of the contingency agreement contract and/or elsewhere. If it is not, ask the contractor to confirm in writing that they will abide by those terms.
How your property damage repairs are priced
Although there are several damage repair cost estimating programs available to insurance adjusters, the damage repair cost estimating software program that most P&C insurance companies mandate be used by their staff and independent insurance claims adjusters is called Xactimate. The following link should give you some good insight and food for thought as to why, in my opinion, an insurance adjuster's Xactimate estimate of the cost to repair your storm damage should be taken with a very large grain of salt; Xactimate Controlled by the Insurance Industry. If you clicked on "The Insurance Hoax" link further up the page, you will already have read the expert opinions of others regarding the use of Xactimate and its pricing structure. The reality is, and my years of experience has shown this to be true, that all of the damage repair cost estimating programs insurance adjusters are required to use to estimate damage repair costs typically result in repair claim settlement offers that are substantially and dramatically below - often by many thousands of dollars, what the property & casualty insurance companies should be paying their insured's on their claims.
Do you have a mortgage on your property?
If so and your claim exceeds $10,000, you and your contractor will be required to submit paperwork to what is usually a third party "loss draft processor" who will oversee your claim and make sure that all of the repair work is completed before the final claim payment is released to you. Nothing wrong with that, but...be prepared to deal with one of the most frustrating and infuriating processes you've ever experienced.
Although Countrywide Mortgage (Balboa) handles most of their own loss draft processing and Sterling National Corporation (previously known as Z C Sterling) handles a fair percentage, most of the loss draft processing done throughout the USA is handled by a Atlanta, GA based niche financial services subsidiary whose parent company was recently fined millions of dollars for selling "forced-placed" home owners insurance policies that were often priced as much as ten times higher than typical voluntary homeowner insurance policies. Probably about time they were fined as well for the terrible service given to insured property owners who are typically forced to wait far too long for their insurance claim payments - even long after the repair work has been completed.
These people, while responsive to their customers (not insured's but rather banks and mortgage companies, et al) demands, assume that no one else – such as insured's who want to get paid so they can pay their contractors and/or PA's so they can pay their employee's and their suppliers - will figure out who’s in charge and therefore, they play fast and loose with the payments that are ultimately owed to you. Your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA is trained on how to help you through the process to make sure it goes as smooth as possible.
“For too long, the insurance industry has regulated the insurance commissioner. We've had enough industry lapdogs; it's time for a watchdog. My motto as insurance commissioner was ‘The consumer has been screwed long enough.’ I think we need another commissioner with that point of view. You can protect the interests of the insurance industry, without short-changing the policyholders and public.” Herb Denenberg - Former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner
Additional advice and warnings
Never accept a claim settlement offer from any insurance adjuster before you have had a 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor or PA inspect your property for damage. A very small minority of property owners with damage mistakenly believe that they can, after the contractor has done all the work in making sure that all damaged items are accounted for and properly paid for - in other words, fulfilled their obligation, cancel the contingency agreement contract turned full contract then hire a less experienced contractor to do the repair work for less money while pocketing some of the insurance proceeds for their own personal use. This could be construed by the insurance company and others as insurance fraud. Many insurance adjusters who know the insurance company's they represent want to keep payouts low will often attempt to cause the insured property owner to cancel/breach their contingency agreement contracts and choose a less experienced contractor who will do the job for less. Doing so would likely be an enforceable illegal breach of contract. If any attorney advises you that doing so is acceptable, you probably need to find a different attorney who is more interested in protecting your interests than in getting paid a small fee while exposing you to potential legal trouble.
People who sell Property and Casualty insurance policies are some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. Many join numerous civic minded organizations and do many good things in their communities - just as they are trained to do by the insurance companies that hire them. Doing so brings in business! But, when it comes to helping insured's with their claims, by design, there is not much they can do to help. Their job is to sell and service insurance policies, not adjust claims. So, even if you've worked with your P&C insurance agent for many years and maybe even gone golfing together, don't be surprised to learn that your relationship with your P&C insurance agent is of little interest to P&C insurance companies in general when it comes time to get your claim fully and fairly paid.
Keep in mind that even though nearly all contractors and contractor representatives across the country that offer to work with property owners with insurance covered damage claim to be "Insurance Claims Specialists", unless they can prove 3RSystems, LLC training, it's highly unlikely that they possess the comprehensive insurance and construction industry experience, knowledge and training that the "insurance claims specialist" title implies. Often, the people making such claims are regular remodel contractors or contractor sales reps who may have years of retail and some insurance repair contracting experience but no verifiable insurance industry experience or claims training by someone who has that experience. Want to be sure you are dealing with a professional who can properly assist you with your insurance claim from start to finish? Ask them to show you their 3RSystems, LLC proof of training.
Contractor Payments: Once all of the paperwork has been completed and the insurance company has agreed to pay your claim at what your 3RSystems, LLC trained contractor, contractor rep, or PA believes is sufficient and proper and the line items from the insurance company loss report match the contractors contract (prior to any customer paid upgrades), feel free to pay to your contractor up to a twenty-five percent down payment of the total agreed to job price, with a one-half from completion progress payment and then pay the final balance due after you and the contractor are in agreement that the job has been completed per the contract. Should you wait until at least some of the materials have been dropped at your property before paying any down payment money to the contractor? That is entirely up to you. On my jobs, I regularly accepted down payments from five-percent to as high as thirty-percent of the total job price - before any materials were dropped - with progress payments or no further payments due until the job was completed.
Do you need to hire a Public Adjuster or attorney to help you with your claim?
No, maybe, yes? In states where those P&C industry friendly state legislators, self serving insurance commissioners, industry lobbyists and others have succeeded in getting "No-Negotiating" bills signed into law, until those laws are repealed, contractors may be penalized if they are found to be, in doing what they have always done for property owners with insurance covered damage, "negotiating on behalf of insured's", which, to those bureaucrats and politicians as well as politicized Department of Labor and Industry heads and insurance/commerce commissioners, constitutes "acting as or representing themselves as" a Public Adjuster. The first goal of P&C insurance and their political allies was/is to take from all insured's - including you, the right to appoint their chosen contractor to negotiate their insurance repair claim on their behalf. All the P&C insurance companies then have to contend with are the limited number of licensed PA's who are permitted to negotiate with P&C insurance companies on behalf of insured's - for a percentage fee of their claim. But, here's some more reality...
Many public adjusters would rather work on claims worth much more than the typically less costly wind and hail damage claims that most exterior contractors work on which ultimately means that many of the PA's licensed to work on those claims won't. Suppose a wind and hail storm comes through your town causing wind and hail damage to 5,000 properties - including yours. P&C insurance does know that a few of the property owners with damage who actually know what PA's are and what they do (most don't) will be willing to pay a PA to help them get their claim fully paid, if they can find one willing to work their claim. Most will however, at least in states where the politicians have taken away their/your right to appoint their/your contractor to negotiate on their/your behalf, simply decide to deal directly with their insurance company adjusters and in house claim reps and hope and pray that their P&C insurance company will do the right thing and fully and fairly pay their claims...and that's just the way P&C insurance likes it.
The P&C insurance industry friendly politicians behind the "No Negotiating" push framed their quite specious argument for the "PA's only" legislation by implying that contractors should be prohibited from negotiating on behalf of their customer's because; 1. they put their financial interests ahead of their customers - which makes absolutely no sense, and 2., they have not been trained in policy language as PA's are required to be. Another fiction those P&C insurance industry friendly lobbyists and politicians are promoting is that PA's cause insurance premiums to increase - which is pure nonsense. The fact that good PA's will get P&C insurance claims fully, fairly and properly paid only means they are getting the claims paid as they should be paid - relative to the premiums paid by the insured's.
When you took out your P&C insurance policy, you were provided with a policy that outlines and specifies terms that are meant to be readable and understandable to, not a lawyer, but rather a person of average intelligence, experience and education. In other word's, written in such a manner so as not to cause you to have to pay to consult with an attorney in order to understand what is and what is not covered and in which the insurer typically bears the burden if there is any ambiguity in any terms of the contract. Consider the fact that most contractors who do insurance repair work on a regular basis are also property owners who pay insurance premiums and likely understand their policies, how they work, and what they cover, as well as anyone. So, in their great wisdom, those folks behind the push for "No Negotiation" legislation believe it's fine for P&C insurance companies, in exchange for billions of insured's premium dollars every year, to issue policies that are readable and understandable by a person of average intelligence, experience and education - presumably those same insured's. But, when it comes time to pay those insured's on their claims, neither they nor their contractors possess sufficient intelligence, experience and education necessary to allow them to understand what their policy covers? More nonsense!
"Fines by state regulatory agencies have been far too small and infrequent to deter unfair business practices," United Policyholders' Bach says. "It's clear that cheating by insurers is a big, profitable business and regulators can't muster the will or political strength to stop them." "The Insurance Hoax"
Over a number of decades of doing insurance repair work as a contractor myself, policy language was never an issue. If a contractor, a PA, an attorney, a Judge or anyone else for that matter misinterpreted policy language and demanded an insurance company pay what is truly not owed, the payment would never be made. With that said, if you have not done so, take the time to do a thorough reading of your homeowner's insurance policy and if there is anything you do not understand, call your agent and make sure that everything is explained to you. Also keep in mind that while it may not be clear to you from the reading of your policy, your policy cannot be cancelled and your rates cannot be increased individually because of "Acts of God" or "Acts of Nature" claims that you have no control over. Insurance companies generally can however, increase the rates of members of a class such as those insured's with in a particular area that is more prone to damage than others.
In rare cases, insured's may be forced into the position of having to hire an attorney to assist them in settling their claims. If you find yourself in that situation, make sure that you work with an attorney who can show you they are well versed in construction and insurance law. Contractor's, PA's and attorney's across the country are slowly but surely forming alliances that will provide insured's a track to follow in the event their claim becomes stalled, underpaid or unfairly denied.
In regards to contracting for storm damage repairs, doing the actual repair work is only 25% of the job - the easy part. Dealing with and going up against multi-billion dollar P&C insurance companies, their claims reps and their lawyers who are regularly reluctant to fully pay their insured's claims is 75% of the job - the hard part. Unless the contractor or PA claiming to be an "insurance claim specialist" can prove insurance industry experience or provide actual and verifiable proof of training by someone with vast experience in both construction and insurance, the "insurance claim specialist" title is a misnomer. In other words, your claim will likely be underpaid.
Ask to see proof of their 3RSystems, LLC training
Trusting without verifying that a contractor or PA who claims to be an insurance claims specialist or expert really is one can be very expensive, time consuming and heart wrenching, among other things. Rather than take the chance that any of the above who claim to be an insurance claims specialist or expert really is, or is not, you'll be much better off trusting a 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractor or PA who will make every effort to make sure that you are paid full 100% RTA on your claim and make sure that your property is restored to the same or better condition than it was in prior to the storm.
After over four decades of business experience which includes forty years of construction industry experience plus twenty years of concurrent and verifiable insurance and investment industry experience, I put together the 3RSystems, LLC insurance claims training program in order to teach contractors, contractor reps, and PA's how to process property damage claims for full RTA value thereby benefiting insured's rather than P&C insurance companies. 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractors, contractor reps, and PA's are put on a level playing field with the multi-billion dollar P&C insurance companies and their teams of independent and staff adjusters, in house claim reps and lawyers that all too often have the advantage over their "customers". This means that you, as the premium paying insured (that makes you the boss, not the insurance company) with the help of your 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractor, contractor rep, or PA, are more likely to be paid all the money owed to you on your claim in much less time and with much less stress.
Want to make sure that your insurance company pays you everything they owe you on your insurance covered property damage claim? Put your trust in a 3RSystems, LLC™ trained contractor, contractor rep, or PA today. You'll never pay more but you'll likely be paid much more on your claim then you otherwise would have.
Larry M. Burtis, President - 3RSystems, LLC / Minneapolis, Minnesota USA Since 1971
Property owners with insurance covered damage
Use the contact form below to confirm your contractor's or PA's status as a 3RSystems, LLC trained Commercial and Residential Property Damage Insurance Claims Consultant (ICC). Include their company and personal name with your submission. Thank you.
Contractors, Contractor Reps, and Public Adjusters
Use the contact form below to request information on how to help your property owner customers with insurance covered damage to get their insurance companies to pay for all of the damage as a 3RSystems, LLC trained Commercial and Residential Property Damage Insurance Claims Consultant (ICC).
BURCOS / 3RSystems, LLC
14716 Southpointe Curve, Ste. 100
Burnsville, Minnesota 55306
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