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insurance work

Posted by nick_warrenevans (nick_warrenevans), 28 November 2003
I am looking to expand my work and have thought about working with insurance claims.
Is there anyone out there whose can give me some advise, connections and if its worth it.

Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 28 November 2003
Buy yourself into ChemDry, Rainbow, Servicemaster etc then you just might get some of what your after, they got it stitched up mate.
Posted by woodman (woodman), 1 December 2003
Hi Nick

Get yourself onto a recognised course  such as with the IICRC after that you will then have to take a BDMA exam to become qualified to carry out Fire & Flood Restoration work.

It's not very long away now that all such work will only be able, to be carried out by BDMA Recognised Technicians.

Posted by nick_warrenevans (nick_warrenevans), 1 December 2003
Thanks for your help

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 1 December 2003

Whilst you are quite correct, †John Flynn made the point that the lions share will still go to the franchises, since the little man in the office has only to have one phone number for nationwide cover - and most likely will receive a very nice drink between now and the 25th !

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 1 December 2003
Hi Guys

I hear that insurance work is changing hands quite frequently perhaps the day is approaching when the independants, who are suitably qualified, will come back into the reckoning.

Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 1 December 2003
I would have thought the NCCA  would be negotiating deals on behalf of its members with insurance companies to carry out such work.

If training was an issue they could arrange suitable programs to carry out work/

Posted by Derek (Derek Bolton), 2 December 2003
Hi Ian

The NCCA did run training courses for Fire and Flood prior to the emergence of the BDMA.

As far as the NCCA arranging for work with Insurance Companies this won't work....they tried it.

The main reason the franchises have sown this insurance work up is that they can offer a one telephone number contact (the NCCA did that) but more importantly they can 'compell' their franchisees to respond quickly.

All the NCCA's members are independant Companies and therefore the Association doesn't have the same a nutshell the NCCA initiative failed because their members didn't or wouldn't respond.

Posted by Kinver_Clean (Kinver_Clean), 2 December 2003
Hi folks,
I understand that one of the bigguns has lost its insurance work?
Posted by woodman (woodman), 2 December 2003

Of course the bulk of claims will go the franchised network but individuals in certain areas are not after the lion's share they only want jobs as and when they crop up and these certainly can be picked up by small operators especially when the franchisers get busy.

The problem is if you are not BDMA recognised they will not be able to appoint you.So it is worthwhile getting on a course and doing the exam if you want to be considered for lucrative restoration work. You could then  sub contract to franchised operators locally then aswell.

The thing to remember with the BDMA is that it is the individual that is registered NOT the company.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 2 December 2003

Perhaps my post lacked some degree of clarity - I intended no arguement with the point you made regarding BDMA qualification. I do however feel that the 'leftovers' available to sum total of independant opperators, in generality, aint going to send up many fireworks !


Posted by DP (DP), 3 December 2003
Hi all couldnít not chip in here as up until about 4 months ago this is the ONLY work iv have done for the last 25 years and am extremely aware of the current situation with insurers.

I can advise that most of the work, for general domestic and a good chunk of commercial has been assigned to 2-3 franchise companies who I know very well and talk to them often at management level. This is very recent and happened very quickly.

Although this started out with one insurer the RSA, who made history by appointing almost all domestic work to Rainbow, thereby unseating the likes of Chem - Dry and 5 others on their panel of "pre appointed". It wasnít long before others followed suite.

The overall effect of this was that (we calculated) almost 300 companies (independents) hit the floor overnight.

Due to the terrified loss adjusters being blamed for everything, they too have also decided to adopt the same policy as the insurers, and in the event that they receive a NON pre-appointed claim they are opting to issue it to those pre- appointed companies to save their rear ends.

I will state that there is still work out there which you can get direct from the clients "pre- claim" and other works from small insurers. However the cost of getting these works has become very expensive and very competitive as you can imagine.

I would also like to state that regardless of common belief it is not essential to be a member of the BDFA, the founder of that was my boss for 5 years and I assisted in the early stages prior to its being in its creation (primary research), I can tell you that it was created for a reason, which has worked as intended too when first conceived, and still supports this double roll, with most unaware.

However it still has its public roll which was to set standards which are in general recognized, but it is not mandatory at this stage and nor likely as many insurers and adjusters still †have an unfavorable opinion about its use as a tool and their also remains some competitive opponents with clout.

Although you should acquire some recognized qualification which will not be shunned when bought into question to have any chance.

Final advice to all is, do not invest any money at this time. The work will return as it did after exactly the same trial 10 years ago, but we believe it will take at least 2-3 years before the turnaround.

One point I will advise on is that the CLIENT can choose who they like to carry out the works, NOT THE INSURER irrespective of what they may suggest or who they send. However insurers do not have to pay any additional costs above what they would have paid their own contractor, unless you can prove that it would be a standard rate and not unreasonable.

If you come across a claim, donít be intimidated by anything. Your client has a right to choose and you have a right to carry out the works. Insurers have no legal right to install their own people unless they take responsibility for them which they never do. The client accepts them at their own risk which they rarely understand.

Hope this helps

Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 December 2003
Hi Guys

Dynafoam do want the five minute argument or the full half hour Grin (older posters will recognise that,sad I know  Sad )


RSA's appointment of Rainbow as our chap on here will no doubt know was carried out on the basis of true national cover,something that Rainbow can't supply and is coming back to haunt them now.
This of course is what happens when guys on these panels  make these decisions, having never worked at the coal face and do not understand the dynamics of Fire & Flood restoration, only the costs.
(correct me if I am wrong but I believe Rainbow have recently been bought out)
I would never advice anybody to appoint their own company for restoration works it can be an unmitigated disaster and as some one who has worked in insurance at management level you will no that mitigation is the key factor here in their loss. In other words if it goes pear shaped you the Insurer can deny a claim if the client has hindered correct restorative procedure by using an unrecognised contractor resulting in loss that otherwise might not have occured.
If a recognised company had been appointed ,all correct procedures were followed and the same loss occured the Insurer WILL cover it.
As for our friends the loss adjusters they will only appoint BDMA members in the future for the obvious reasons, fear Wink
Posted by Ian_G. (Ian_G.), 3 December 2003
To summerise it would be a waste of money to go on a Flood Restoration course as you would get little work, apart from those who are uninsured?

Your extra equipment would not get used.

I beleive there is at least one operator who is not a Franchise in this area who is affiliated to some organisation that gets the work, but I cant remember the name.
Posted by John_Flynn (John_Flynn), 3 December 2003
In the past I have done Flood Restoration work for Disaster Care, but they are no more!!

Anybody know what happened to Stuart??
Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 3 December 2003

"No I didn't " I "was just havin' a kip on account of bein' shagged out"

John (An older poster)
Posted by woodman (woodman), 3 December 2003

You were obviously never a Monty Python fan otherwise you would have recognised it straight away.

Never mind us oldies need our sleep in the afternoons Grin

Hi Ian,

that may be the way you summarise it but I would say that training is never a waste of money Wink

You could get the work as already mentioned if the heavens up open and we get lots of floods and the big boys can't cope, its happened before and it will happen again.It doesn't take very many jobs too make it all worth while.

Of course it's only any good if you intend offering the service if not then don't bother with the courses.

Posted by Dynafoam (Dynafoam), 3 December 2003
on 12/03/03 at 19:30:09, woodman wrote:

You were obviously never a Monty Python fan otherwise you would have recognised it straight away.

First quote from 'Arguement' sketch, second from 'Parot' sketch.

Posted by woodman (woodman), 4 December 2003

Roll Eyes Roll Eyes

I knew that Embarassed
Posted by DP (DP), 5 December 2003
Sorry Woodman I have only just got back here after me last post, got tied up so to speak on that men and women post with fox and petra.

This is the 1 HOUR version

Yes you are correct in your statement that if you have hired your own company to carry out the works and if it goes wrong then you would not normally have any recourse back to the insurers, however you legally donít anyway with the companies that they send as contrary to common belief they do NOT work for the insurers, they work for you, to which you accept. The exception here is that you are much more likely to have leverage in respect of a straight forward and rectifiable complaint.

There are a lot of variables here though, insurers own pre- appointed are ďgeneralĒ at most things, i.e in the commercial world the guy that will be cleaning your keyboard today can be easily (and often is) the guy that will be cleaning your 5 million pound production plant tomorrow, because †the company that sent him sais they can do all that as well. Therefore who would you want striping it down and putting it back, the people the insurance company sent, or the specialist that supplied it and installed it. The reason why you get the pre-appointed is because they are cheaper. I am in the middle of a £77k and a 15 month old claim for £200K for exactly this and insurers are refusing to pay on either because they state that the company should have advised the pre-appointed that it needed a specialist and that they should have stopped work. The company on the other hand were under the impression that the pre-appointed were specialists (they may have been but not at this). † †

Now with that said it is very very important to understand the complaint level of these franchise companies (pre-appointed). approximately 30% of all my works over the last 2 years have been going into properties to either redo, complete or litigate between all parties and on occasion this has included the Loss Adjusters. I have had a relationship with one insurer direct for a number of years to go in as an when Adjusters cant maintain the relationship and report specifically on the problems and offer solutions. †

I have on a number of occasions had total authority to resolve the situation, which included (more then once) removing the insurers own pre-appointed company (being the offending object) in favor of a neutral third party company. In fact this is the only work that I still seem to get up to and including last weekend.

My point is that it would be incorrect to believe that these companies have got it right, because you would not believe the things that I have seen and had to deal with, and in part indirectly due to BDMA training, because without experience, a small amount of new found confidence is an extremely dangerous thing.

For example: I have witnessed Chem-Dry set fire to a house (to name one in about 100 incidences) and Rainbow with their antics cause a £800k apartment to decay to the point of a near rebuild through lack of knowledge or interest, (to name one in about 30).
Posted by DP (DP), 5 December 2003
However I do agree that training is a MUST and that in respect of this, the BDMA have a role to play, the problem is it goes no where near far enough and simply clouds the division between the competent and in-competent.

When all said and done I really cant complain as I have earned a lot of money from the results, however guess who has had to pay for the mistakes.  

There is a long way to go before the BDMA can make any claim to autonomy in respect of qualifying newbieís into the world of insurance claims  

Iíll elaborate on your statement regarding Rainbow being appointed with RSA as the only true nationwide franchise. Rainbow have currently about 165 franchises (to which I know no expansions are planned) as apposed to Chem-Dry's 650 who were just one of the 6 kicked off the panel. All of these contracts are awarded on a number of issues, one being the amount of money which is agreed to be paid back to the insurers for the contract, which is public, and not one of those under the table things. Another issue within this contract was the element of control insurers would be allowed, including the use of "trackers" in all the vehicles.

You are right that Rainbow have just been bought out by ISS, who previously bought out Ark & General (a commercial claims company) who I used to work for as their London Regional Manager some years ago.

You are also 100% right in your reasoning about the big change round, anyone who thinks it couldnít be that simple, you would be wrong , it invariably is!

Its also true the when we have the national floods again the Damage Management companies are the first to run out of kit, and I have about £100k's worth sitting in a unit costing me a fortune in storage.

So if anyone can break down some doors, you have an instant partner, No I dont want to sell it just yet,  Smiley

This must be the longest post yet, will I get the record or perhaps a stuffed (sorry live) parrot, Norwegian blue I think.  Wink

Posted by woodman (woodman), 5 December 2003

Very interesting post pretty much agree with most of what you say although I am sure that you would agree that a regulator,bacause that in effect is what the BDMA will become,  that will oversee and make sure that correct procedures are carried out can only be a good thing for the industry as a whole.

For a long time we have been calling for licensed Estate Agents,Cab Firms,Health Centres etc to control shoddy business practice by the Roy Rodgers that are out there and god knows we have plenty of cowboys in our game.

At least if there is a disaster caused by Chem-Dry,Rainbow the client has recourse and the Insurance company has the clout to make sure it's dealt swiftly and effectively , such as appointing some one like yourself if need be.

If  the insured uses there own source and he cocks up he can do a runner never to be seen again, leaving Mrs Jones to pick up the pieces.

The BDMA do not carry out any training thats up to the individual or the franchise to supply  but I can tell you that it is now required that
all franchised operators take and pass the exam to be able to receive restoration work.

A little knowledge you say is dangerous, no knowledge at all is lethal.I like you have seen operators cause major disasters,I once literally pleaded with a guy not to install propane heaters into a domestic property which he wanted dry in a hurry, only to find he had which resulted in the doors catching alight which then set the whole ground floor ablaze.

At least having attending training and having to pass an exam we all can learn how to deal with certain situations in the correct manner and aslo, which is even more important at times, know when to admit that we are not competent  enough in carrying out a particular task and pass it over, to DP of course Wink

Posted by DP (DP), 6 December 2003
Lol, I should be so lucky. Litigating is still the worst type of work, and on the whole I hate it, kind of an insult really, wonít give you the job to start with, but then ask you to sort it out if it goes wrong. The only reason I still do it, is to keep my foot in the door (so to speak).

There are many variants of this type of work from cleaning a carpet, to reinstating an entire factory, with all of it buildings IT systems, production plant, stocks, products etc.

It is difficult to look at any one topic in a global manor. There is without question area's where the BDMA have an important presence and area's where they have none ie high end commercials. Unless something has changed in the last 4 months.

The BDMA and franchise companies (along with others like Munters) share at this time a symbiosis which has proved extremely beneficial to all parties.

The true relevance of this has remained exactly where it was intended (which is the bit that worries me). How does an individual in the field who is "trained" and examined by the BDMA (by association) achieve the complete opposite or consistently fall short of what they were employed to do. These people are not idiots just unaware of the hazardís.

Of course we need training like every other profession and any governing body is better then none. In light of recent events, I am sure that the BDMA is addressing this sudden favoring of the few by insurers in respect of supporting all its other members who have invested and supported both them and insurers.

It must however be proving difficult as the favored few are also senior or bulk members
Havenít heard anything to date yet though!

Lets hope that standards continue to improve as without training and examination there would be no hope of that at all.

The propane is a common mistake especialy as it contains 87% water by volume (or there about's) which defeats the object anyway.

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