If a picture says a thousand words, the one above certainly does. This picture was taken in the Panhandle of Florida following Hurricane Michael. This photograph may actually go so far as to imply the contractor is advertising for the practicing of law.
Just to make certain that the advertisement may suggest something that the contractor is not doing and that public adjusting is not a service the contractor is advertising to do, I went to the Mason Dixon Contracting web page:
“We Can Help You Streamline the Claims Process
It is your right to have one of our storm restoration specialists present for the initial adjuster inspection. A Mason Dixon Contracting inspector will meet with your adjuster on the property to discuss wind and hail damage and agree on a plan for repairs. This can dramatically speed up the claim negotiations. We will provide you with detailed explanations of the insurance estimate and documents throughout the process. Most importantly, we will handle your claim and complete all the work within your insurance company’s quoted price. In summary, here are potential benefits of working on your claim with Mason Dixon Contracting.
•Our representatives meet with your adjuster for the prompt and accurate resolution of your claim.
•All exterior projects get completed to code.
•Energy savings with modern materials and certified installation.
•Improved curb appeal.
•Low-maintenance or even maintenance-free siding.
•Call for a FREE Property Inspection for Storm Damage
Find out what makes us the leading roofing contractors in the area for storm damage repair and restoration….”
Mason Dixon contracting may be the greatest roofer and contractor in the world. Its advertising is very impressive. But, it is clearly advertising to handle policyholders’ insurance claims. This advertisement is illegal, and the acts are also illegal in Florida because they constitute the unauthorized practice of public adjusting and probably the unauthorized practice of law.
Merlin Law Group attorney Larry Bache recently gave a speech to an audience primarily composed of contractors. He made a good point that “everybody should stay in their lane” and abide by laws.
Contractors have to speak with insurance company adjusters because the insurance company adjusters must investigate the claim in order to settle it with the policyholder. The person doing the construction work may have valuable information for the adjuster about the damaged portion of a building but settling the claim and agreeing to what is to be done is a contract right owned by the policyholder.
Consumers should have true professionals who can legally explain all the options the policyholder has at the time a loss occurs and all the benefits the insurance policy provides. For example, policyholders do not have to build their structures back to how it was before the loss. Often, it is much more advantageous to rebuild a damaged structure differently and sometimes not even at the same loss location. Just this one issue is far beyond the expertise of what contractor is legally entitled to advise a policyholder.
Contractors are a core group that help restore our communities after catastrophes. Those contractors that come from far away communities and do quality work just as they do in their own communities are very important because there is no way local contractors can do all the work demanded following a large scale catastrophe. Professional restoration contractors that build with quality methods, materials, and pursuant to all local building codes are not the enemy and should be congratulated for their entrepreneurialism and willingness to work a long way from friends and families.
Nevertheless, as demonstrated by the photograph and the contractor website, the issues concerning and instances of unauthorized practice of public adjusting are significantly increasing throughout the country.
Thought For The Day
Construction is an important front for solidifying the foundations of a thriving country and creating bases for the people’s happy life.