Storms cause damage. Hail, wind, snow. massive amounts of rain. All of it can do a lot of damage, often in a very short amount of time. It is natural that commercial property owners rely on their contractors to help restore their property after a storm comes through, so they can get on with business. But, what happens if the restoration contractor default negotiator with the insurance company?
The Reality of Insurance Negotiations
Most contractors don’t know how to negotiate with insurance company adjusters. And that is a good thing.
Insurance companies have no obligation to work with an insured party’s contractor when it comes to negotiating a settlement. In the eyes of the law, they are two completely unrelated parties. The insurance company negotiates in its financial interests. A contractor negotiates in his financial interests. The financial interests of the actual property owner is not being represented.
If the property owner tells the contractor to do the negotiation, there is likely to be one of two outcomes. Either, the insurance company ignores the contractor completely or they will throw out a lowball proposal and tell the contractor to “take it or leave it”. Both scenarios don’t do the property owner, nor the contractor, any good.
The good news is that commercial property owners and restoration contractors have a viable option available: hiring the services of a public adjuster.
A licensed public adjuster can legally represent the property owner during negotiations. A public adjuster can work with both the property owner and the contractor to assess the damage and come up with realistic numbers. Then, the adjuster can approach the insurance company to negotiate a fair settlement.
What This Means from the Perspective of the Contractor
Public adjusters know how to negotiate with insurance company representatives. They know how to speak the language. They know how to present data in such a way the insurer will pay attention. From a contractor’s perspective, this has many benefits.
- Claims are settled faster. Instead of the contractor telling the client what numbers to present to the insurance company, the public adjuster does it directly. The adjuster knows how to negotiate with insurers. This gets claims settled faster. The faster the claim is settled, the faster the repair work can commence and the faster the contractor gets paid.
- The rate of approval is higher. When a contractor or property owner comes back to an insurer with a counter-proposal, the reception is often icy. The insurer will tear it apart or ignore it completely. However, when a public adjuster is involved, things change. The counter-proposal is in a language the insurer speaks. These counter-proposals are far more likely to be approved without a lot of fuss.
- The amount of the settlement will be higher. Insurance companies will lowball property owners and contractors. They are betting on a lack of knowledge and a desire to settle to get those first proposals accepted. Things change when a public adjuster gets involved. The adjuster will give an honest assessment of the damage done and how much it’s going to cost to fix. And those numbers are more likely to be accepted by the insurance company. The bonus with this is that it helps protect the contractor’s overhead and profits for the project.
- It lets the restoration contractor do what he does best, make properties usable again. Contractors are usually no in the business of handling complex negotiations. They are in the business of building, remodeling, and repairing properties for clients. Bringing in a public adjuster to handle negotiations takes all this hassle and burden off the contractor’s shoulders.
If you are a restoration contractor, you may be called on to help with insurance negotiations on occasion. The best advice, for both you and the property owner, is to call in a public adjuster. It will benefit everyone involved.
Are you a business owner or contractor struggling to get the settlement you need from the insurance company? Commercial Claim Pro is designed exactly for this purpose; to assess the damage and get the money needed to make the repairs and pay for the labor. Call today at (877) 877-6612 to get the help you need.
Photo Ken Walton | Used under Creative Commons image attribution license 2.0