Joseph Sabbagh, Chip Merlin, & Justin Skipton

The Win The Storm Conference was a very different and thought provoking conference because contractors and roofers involved in the insurance restoration and construction industry were the target attendees. Steve Badger, who was a speaker and observer for the insurance industry, mentioned that this was not a typical insurance conference because most of the attendees were in trades that are often not invited to the insurance industry table—the people doing the repair and reconstruction after catastrophes. Kudos to Anthony Delmedico for founding this informative and successful conference.

A major topic at the conference was what occurs when contractors are forced to fight with insurance company adjusters and claims managers to receive acceptable payments for profitable repair and reconstruction. From my viewpoint, there seems to be a war between those doing the repair after a catastrophe and those obligated through insurance to pay for it. I encourage all in these professions: contractors, roofers, insurance adjusters, and claims representatives, to look at this through the eyes of policyholders, who are the customers of both.

What policyholder would want to have a contractor strapped to make little or no profit performing the repair of a house or building? Reasonable construction pricing is important.

Contractors and roofers need payment for scope and repair that fully repairs damage from losses so that they can make a reasonable profit. I suggest that insurance executives consider paying amounts sufficient for them to have enough profit and that they stop cutting coverages for matching and limiting payment for full replacement. Would those same insurance executives want contractors who are forced to cut quality workmanship working on their homes? Would they want an insurance claims culture that reduces claims severity goals and claims payments regardless of the impact of the policyholder? If they lived by the Golden Rule, I doubt that would be the culture of claims payment.

Reasonable repair construction pricing is an important topic I will discuss more tomorrow. Until then, I suggest that those interested read the blog I posted following April Hall’s restoration seminar. This type of activity by claims departments should stop.

April Hall has an excellent storm restoration and contractor summit. Merlin Law Group attorneys Larry Bache and Drew Houghton will be speaking. Larry and Drew will be addressing, in part, the “reasonable cost to repair” a damaged structure and why the insurance industry often gets it so wrong by improperly using Xactimate.

Here is a link to sign up for her event. Larry Bache told me that he can hardly wait to hear Roger Staubach’s speech. I told Larry that his own speech and lessons should be more profitable to contractors than “Roger the Dodger’s” talk. If not, April might demand that I show up instead of him and Drew Houghton.

Tomorrow, I will write more about a reasonable cost to repair when issues arise between contractors, insurance company adjusters, and public adjusters. I will also write about my impressions from Win The Storm.

Thought For The Day

The whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists.
—Charles Dickens

  • Edward Fako

    Yes, Attorney Badger noticed Correctly. These are The Actual Men & Women out in the field taking care of the multitudes of Storm Damage Victims.

    They are not some Newbie Desk Adjuster who never picked up a hammer in their life. Yet, they ultimately re-read, over and over again, that the complexity of the project does not deserve Overhead And Profit for the pittance of 20%, yet the Insurance Carriers themselves often report Their Own Profits ranging around 52%.

    Often, these Contractors utilize their own financial reserves to fund the projects, often going many months awaiting for the claims to be properly paid, with a measly 20%, aka 10&10 Profit Margin being held back, driving under funded Contractors to the brink of ruin.

    I have seen many further assist by financing the ADR Appraisal, but far too often witness even more egregious behavior from continually hand picked egregiously biased Insurers Shill Appraisers. Fortunately still, those bad actors are the minority, yet continually hired day in and day out.

    I am grateful, although hesitant to congratulate Attorney Steve Badger, for at least facing the crowd and would welcome an exchange of strategies to alleviate the current oppositional conundrum.

    Mr. Badger….. Lunch is on me. Your choice, Texas or Illinois or elsewhere Sir. Jointly, we can find a solution that is acceptable.

    “Steve Badger, who was a speaker and observer for the insurance industry, mentioned that this was not a typical insurance conference because most of the attendees were in trades that are often not invited to the insurance industry table—the people doing the repair and reconstruction after catastrophes.”


    Edward Fako

    • Ed,

      You are correct!
      t takes a lot of courage by Steve Badger to face a crowd on the other side of an
      issue that hotly disagrees with him, even before he opens his mouth.

      • Tad Balzer

        I have been hearing the word “reasonable” a lot lately from insurance companies. I think that word needs to be retired. For instance, I need a car, I can buy a VW Beetle, or a Porsche 911. Both are cars, but is it “reasonable” to spend the extra money for a motorized vehicle with four wheels. Who is to say?

        • Tad,

          You have a very valid point. “Reasonable” is where insurance company defense attorneys like to hang out in their arguments about why their clients actions were not wrong but “reasonable.” What the heck is reasonable about being wrong?

          I will think about this a lot harder.

          Thank you!

  • One phrase most never seem to grasp, that should be universal. #ProtectTheInsured. Until that is understood and adhered to, success will be fleeting.

    • Cal,

      Great to hear from you and perfect point.
      Merlin Law Group is For The Policyholder!

  • bitdough

    My opinion is we need more insurance industry input at conferences. Many new to the game do not remember when WIND and others had a healthy mix of Carrier adjuster, Independent adjuster, and public adjuster. It allowed for great debate not just at the breakout sessions but at dinner and the lounge. I for one miss it.

    • Thanks for your comment.

      Your perception that the Windstorm Conference hosted a greater percentage of public adjusters to independent and company adjusters than before is something that
      was raised when I was the Windstorm President elect and President in 2011-12.
      Michelle Griffin provided statistical attendance records proving that perception was not true. It was important because some with the insurance industry provided survey information indicating they did not return to the Conference because of that very reason.

      I am not certain what the statistical breakdown has been over the last 6 years, but
      I will find out since you raised this point.

      I wish the insurance industry leaders invited those on the policyholder side to more of their events. I am only able to find out what is going on and learn their views from those that do not drink all the “Insurance Industry Kool Aid.” I knew public adjusters who were allowed to go to PLRB meetings, but that is no longer the case.