CONTRACTORS: Get Paid in FULL

CONTRACTORS: Get Paid in FULL

You did the job. You hired the guys. You put in the sweat and tears. Now the insurance company wants to cut you a deal. Wait a second. A deal for who?

Don’t back down. The insurance companies are all bark. If you stand your ground, they will be forced to pay you in full.

Still don’t know how? Well, first you have to pull on your big boy pants. Don’t think you can? We can certainly do it for you. Our pants are big, indeed.

You can roll over and show your belly. You can take the offered 80%. Before you do that, think of how that will affect all of us. The insurance company gets used to screwing the little guy.

We want you to take the third option. We want you to fight back.

Are you ready?

STEP ONE: Set the tone and proper expectations.

The insurance company doesn’t want to pay you in full. Everybody knows that. To think otherwise is just crazy talk.

Out of the gate, they’ll try to pay you less. Here is an example of the types of emails I exchange with insurance companies all the time.

They are quick to throw the first punch.

“Your case is under review” they say. That’s all fine and good. You can review the case as much as you want, but you still need to pay the invoice.

This is not a negotiation. If they want to negotiate, they can take it to court. We know full-well that we would win a case if it went to trial. Properly documented losses never go to trial.

Xactimate shows in detail all the work that was done, along with what that work is worth.

There’s a term for this. It’s an “open and shut case.”

Your first email back to the insurance company should cover the following points:

 You signed a contract with the insured.

  • They are legally not able to change the contract.
  • The invoice that was sent is for services rendered and is non-negotiable.
  • If they don’t pay promptly, there will be late fees.

STEP TWO: Maintain pressure and stay the course

Let me repeat: The insurance company does not want to pay you in full. We all know this. We expect this.

Their next email will list some reason why they can’t pay you in full.

This is a lie. They are likely a billion-dollar company. The way they became a billion-dollar company is by ripping off folks like you and me.

Your next email should remain firm and non-negotiable.

Include the following in email #2:

  • You don’t care what the given reason is.
  • You signed a contract with the insured, not the carrier.
  • This is an invoice and not an estimate.
  • You cannot change your line item by law.
  • Making a change to a signed contract is a felony.
  • You stand behind your quality, and you are fully certified.

Remember: The insurance is playing a game with you. They want you to back down and take their low-ball offer. They have no teeth in their threats.

Under no circumstances should you accept their first offer unless that is an offer of payment in full (hey, it could happen!). Or you can decide you are willing to accept it.

STEP THREE: Count Your Folding Money

We aren’t doing anything illegal. We aren’t doing anything immoral. We’re getting paid for work we already performed.

Usually, after putting up a small fight, the insurance company will pay you in full. 

Really, it’s not much of a fight.

If they thought they had a leg to stand on, they would take you to court. Since they know they would lose that battle, there is no legal fight.

Most legal battles are not started by the insurance carrier. Instead, they are started by the insured party. When they realize that they’re on hook to pay the contractor invoice, they sue the insurance company to get full restitution. If the insurance company is smart, they would settle at this point. 

Some aren’t so smart.  As a contractor, that isn’t your fight.

ABOUT CLAIMS DELEGATES

In 2012, Andy McCabe founded the property claim estimating and claims consultancy called Claims Delegates. Claims Delegates retains an army of dedicated professionals who write Xactimate® estimates for contractors, attorneys and adjusters across the country. They also consult on Large Loss and CAT events. They are currently accepting new client applications. Contact us today!

Featured image by Isabel Vittrup-Pallier on Unsplash. Effects added in Canva.com

Put Me In, Coach!

Put Me In, Coach!

It’s a common dilemma. You had a flood in your house. The insurance company offers $10,000 to fix it. You can’t find a contractor to do the work for under $40,000. You may feel this is unfair. It certainly is. This is also by design. The insurance company makes more money when it pays you less than what you’re OWED.

Insurance companies use a very complicated program called Xactimate. This is also by design. If it were easy to use, the common property owner could master it. Xactimate software is very expensive. If it were affordable, the average property owner would have a copy.

We’re not talking about Microsoft Word, here.

Is it starting to feel like the deck is stacked against you? The insurance company is trying to get you on the ropes. They want you to feel powerless and hopeless. When you’re in that position, you will accept ANY low-ball offer they give you. Hint: You don’t have to accept the first offer.

Time to get US in your corner!

Like it or not, the insurance company uses Xactimate. That is their “language.” Speaking the same language as the insurance company generally leads to bigger and more successful claims. That’s why you need Xactimate.

Don’t let the insurance company tell YOU how much the damage is worth. Let an advocate fight for you. We’re on YOUR side!

We’re industry veterans. We’ve been doing restoration jobs for decades. We know the REAL cost of fixing a damaged property. Hint: The first offer from the insurance company will ALWAYS be less than what they think your claim is worth.

We need to be on the same page when we go to the mat with the insurance company. They have a “professional” quote that says the damage can be fixed for $X. We have a quote that says the damage can be fixed for $Y. Which quote is going to succeed? Hint: The property owner (YOU) have more power than you think you do!

Andy McCabe is a licensed Public Adjuster in Oregon, California, Maryland, and Florida. He is insured and bonded. He’s been doing this a long time. You can trust him. He’s itching for a fight. Let him go after your carrier! Put me in, coach!