Whether as part of what I teach in my contractor training, part of my opening statement in a counter suit I brought Pro Se against a billion + dollar corporation a few years ago (and won), or just life in general, I’ve always stood and relied on the following self-proven principle; “the truth never changes but it does change that which is not.” I’m tempted to say that I don’t understand why so many big companies and their leaders out there today, including most P&C insurance companies, cannot seem to grasp the reality of the principle, but I really do. It is really a moral issue that cannot be defeated by all the relativism in the world.
I was recently asked, as someone who earns money training contractors on how to help their insured customer’s to maximize their claims, if I have a bias towards contractors. My partial initial answer was yes. After I thought about it though, my real bias is towards the insured’s who deserve much better than they receive from their insurance companies and the organizations who work for or represent them. They also deserve much better than they often receive from some of the under trained contractors out their today who, because of their lack of training or simple disregard, often cause as much damage to themselves as they do to their customers.
Thinking through some of the recent postings regarding the massive fraud perpetrated against Hurricane Sandy victims by their insurance companies, adjusters and engineers, I perused through some of the various articles on the subject. Still waiting to hear if John Houghtaling will be speaking of “the other shoe” when he returns from Italy. So, as I’m reviewing several of those Hurricane Sandy articles and videos, I watched a particular video of an owner tugging on a piece of carpet that had been ruined by the flooding. Watching the video brought to mind a fairly recent confrontation I had had with a particular nationwide carpet sales company that does about $650 million in business across the USA every year.
Around the time I got “involved” with the company they had been purchased by a $25 billion dollar private equity firm. First the story and then the moral…My wife and I had been thinking about replacing our homes carpeting for far too long so we decided to set an appointment to review carpet samples. From the samples shown, we chose a carpet we both liked and after a bit of negotiating with the sales rep, placed the order. We both knew we had slightly overpaid for the job but the holidays were fast approaching and we wanted to get the carpet installed before we had guests. With the same eagle eye I used on my storm damage inspections, I watched closely as the new carpet was installed. Near the end of the installation, I had a feeling that something was not quite right.
Long story segment short, with the help of several local honest carpet sellers, my investigation of the installation proved that the carpet that was installed was a low quality counterfeit of the carpet we had ordered. As that corporation and their lawyers above and others have learned over the years, if I can’t prove it, I don’t say it. I put up a web site and sent the link to the carpet company CEO. Soon after came the lawsuit and various other threats from both the CEO and the senior corporate counsel. About a month later, with a stern reminder to both the CEO and the senior corporate counsel that their resumes and their tactics were less than steller and might readily be exposed further, the senior corporate counsel notified me that a full refund would be forthcoming. Done.
The moral…when you have the truth on your side, fear not. Don’t just “fear not” though, act on that which may have caused you to fear and bring about the changes you know need to be made. As contractors, you already know what changes need to be made starting with always putting your customer’s interests first and truly educating them on how the insurance claims process works. Next, learn how to truly get the point across to the P&C insurance industry and their accomplices in a way that will truly make a difference for all of us. However mis-guided, they are not people to be feared, they are just people with lessons to be learned. Just read this somewhere this morning…”God planned the best things in life on the other side of fear!” I like it. By mid-summer my new seminar on the topic should be ready to present across the country. As an aside, still wondering why State Farm CEO and 2018 Financial Services Roundtable chairman elect Michael Tipsord was, along with the entire P&C insurance industry, sent packing…
3RSystems, LLC - Minneapolis, MN USA
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