In today’s videos, we are going to talk about taking the Moral high Ground in a discussion with an insurance adjuster. This is my preferred way to talk to an adjuster, and I would argue that this is the only way to talk to an adjuster.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I get a lot of questions from contractors. The top question is, “You’re an expert at Xactimate, right? Is there some way that I can use it to charge more money?”
No, no, no, no, no. This is the wrong question to ask. You need to take the moral high ground and have what I have learned is a “Defensible Scope.” What is that?
A good friend of mine in the business works on large claims. These are claims in excess of a million dollars. This is serious stuff. When a job is that size, the claim frequently goes to court. Then my friend has to put a hand on the Bible and swear to the honestly of his story. Then he is questioned by lawyers on both sides to justify his scope. If he had been trying to “Nickel and Dime” the insurance agency, would that hold up in a court of law? It is not likely. Maybe once, but not time and time again. In his case, his only defense was the truth. That is a “Defensible Scope.” That is a scope you can defend in your core.
How does this help with our interaction with the insurance agency? We can take the Moral High Ground.
The Moral High Ground is honest. The Moral High Ground is doing what is right. The Moral High Ground is literally high ground to do battle from.
Here’s another example of how I used this in an interaction with an insurance adjuster.
A woman had a house claim that had been stretching on for two years. The insurance company had given some kind of low-ball settlement. When the poor homeowner tried to get a contractor to do the work, she was very shocked. The bids were three to four times what she got in the settlement.
When the insurance company was made aware of this information, their response was to challenge the quotes from the contractors. This is exactly opposite of how they should react. An insurance company is obligated to revise their original settlement if they are presented with new information.
This is the point where I was consulted for a quote. My services include both an Xactimate quote and working with the insurance adjuster to get the quote paid for. That’s very important, because the former does not guarantee the later if you try to do it yourself.
I was talking to the adjuster, and this is how I opened the conversation. “I’m new to this. I wrote this appraisal adjustment. You guys have been working at this for two years. It’s very important to me that we don’t waste any more time on this. In order not to waste time, it’s we all know need to know where we stand and what our intentions are. Before we start talking, I need to know: Does your company intend to settle this claim fairly and enable your client to build their house back to pre-loss conditions? Or, does your company want to argue about Xactimate invoices?”
Here is an example of taking the Moral High Ground. What can his response be? Regardless of how he had been acting to this point, he needs to appear to have the client’s best interest at heart. He kept trying to question this and that on the quote. I kept pulling him back to my original statement. “Is that what is best for our client?”
You see, if my motivation were to get more money, the insurance adjuster would have the upper hand. I would be eager and willing to take whatever the insurance company offered, and I would let them pull any trick they wanted to pull. The situation of the last two years would continue. By putting the focus on the client and what is right, this changes the whole dynamic and puts us on the fast track to a speedy claim.
My first goal is to get a client to a pre-loss condition as quickly as possible. The client should not see that there was damage or repair. Will this cost a little more? Perhaps. That’s not my problem. That’s why my client purchased a home insurance plan. That’s why an insurance company issued the insurance. Those are the assumed terms on both sides. I’m just making sure the insurance company holds to their side of the deal. I only want what’s fair.
This, in a nutshell, is the Moral High Ground. This is where I choose to stand, and I recommend that you stand atop the mountain with me.
I know a thing or two about how to handle things and get shit done. I have zero patience for insurance companies or insurance adjusters. My world is very black and white. Whatever I am doing, it is either in best interest of the client, or it is not. Unfortunately, I am up against an insurance company who also lives in a black and white world. Their world is a bit different. To them, it’s all about money. Something is either cheaper or more expensive. They will always choose the cheaper option.
My job (and your job), is to keep the conversation not about money, but about getting to a pre-loss condition. This is, after all, what they promised. Yes, certain options are cheaper. I don’t care. We can do it this other way. I don’t care. I only care about what is best for the client.
Contact me anytime and we’ll go over your story.