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Post Info TOPIC: Insurance Adjusters & A Hurricane Humberto Diary

RE: Insurance Adjusters & A Hurricane Humberto Diary

9-30-2007 - Sunday

Well how about an update. Damage to the structure is more than Hanson can handle. A new adjuster out of Ohio is assigned the claim. It is curious as to why Farmers needs a adjuster out of state to handle a Texas claim, and a relatively small claim at that.

The new adjuster "Leon" (not his real name) claims that the adjuster pool that handles commercial claims is thin, and so he was sent down to handle the assessment. He seemed like a nice guy at first.

After giving him my costs for the emergency mitigation work, and according to the owners employee, he tells them on Saturday 9-29-2007, after the 5k check comes in Wednesday 9-26-2007 (overnight from Tuesday), that they do not have to use me for the work.

That was bizzare. I will find out if that is true. Lift equipment and other items are now on hold.

Too, he was to email me his figures, and even said in front of the owner that it was not necessary for me to come up with mine, that I could just review his. That was on Monday 9-24-2007.

Then this past Friday (9-28-2007) I called him to see if he had his estimation together and he said yes, and I request that he pdf me a copy. Now he had already agreed to Monday (9-24-2007), but I requested it again as a reminder to him.  

He does not call back for approximately 2 hours, and then I call him and he claims he called the owner and that the owner does not want me to have a copy now. I figure it may just be another owner who see dollars coming, and now doesn't remember why those dollars are coming. 

Anyway, supposedly because of Leon's input about the emergency mitigation work and the 5k insurance dollar reserve, the owners representative does not know me now, and wants to know, on Thursday 9-27-2007, why I am at the business to pick up a deposit check. Even talking to the owners employee before I came in that day does little to jog their memory.

(None of these amnesia issues are new to me, and it seems to be just another client that gets insurance dollars for repair work by a seasoned contractor's effort, then wants the contractor to go away. Too, could it be that the adjuster may want the contractor to go away so that a lowball and synthetic damage assessment will pass by the owner as being legitimate?).
Anyway, I send a response to the owners employee and the owners business associate today, laying out the unfairness of their actions. I make it clear that my money is not to be used by others, and settle down to enjoy some B-B-Q with the family. Monday is another day, and I will get to the bottom of the (same ol') deceptive and unfair trade practice business interference type issues. 



9-21-2007 - Friday

The owners' employee calls with new news. Hanson wants someone else's expertise to be involved in witnessing the damage scope on the structure.

The other (adjuster?) is to come down from (Ohio?) and will be here Monday 9/24/2007. The owners' employee is concerned they will not receive any money. I reply that the damage scope may be too difficult for Hanson to deal with, or he needs further help, and to please be patient. Hanson knows that the damaged wall and two other areas are real damage, so they will assess the storm "loss" acordingly.

Hanson does not call me or email in regards to temporary mitigation scope sent him. Owners' employee states they want to meet with me tomorrow, Saturday.

9/22/2007 - Saturday

I have another client project (a protective 6' * 3' canopy for a external hot water on-demand system) to construct/install today. I call owners' employee to schedule meeting after that work is done. I leave email and voice messages for owners' employee.

4:30 - Canopy is done. I come back to office and am told that owners' employee called and left message that Hanson called, and that the upcoming inspection by other adjuster is nothing for them to worry about, that he feels it is necessary.
I call owners employee and they are gone for the day. I leave a voice mail message.

9/23/2007 - Sunday

Fix car brakes. Try to sell a work truck. Get ready for Monday. Noticed three weather systems are brewing. Two in Atlantic, one by Yucantan peninsula. Looks like the two may slip past Cuba.



9-20-2007 - Thursday

Well, I spoke with the Hanson, the adjuster. He claimed that the owners friend misunderstood him, and after [Hanson] had received my voice mail concerns yesterday (9/19/2007) he had called the owner to straighten out that I was not trying to claim Rita damage was Humberto damage, or was trying to have insurance checks made out to me.

I made it clear that I needed his thoughts in writing in an email to me, today.

It's 2:11 PM - I feel the need for further assisstance in clearing up the negative thing that has come up. I called the cell of an employee who also helps the owner with business issues, and who I had met on Tuesday, and who gave me their cell number to call if I needed to. 

I have a conversation with the assisting employee of the business owner.

Hanson did not tell me that he had seen that particular employee of the owner while shopping Tuesday, and the employee said that Hanson suggested that I was trying to defraud Farmers and the owner [in regards to the 'Rita damage is Humberto damage', and check, issues].

(Now it kinda' makes sense why the owners friend called yesterday and said he did not want to do any thing illegal, or unethical).

I referred the employee back to Monday conversations in person with the owner and his friends, and emails, that make clear what was actually said about damage, and why named third party's are common business practice. 

(I also had met the employee Tuesday (9/18/2007) while a wall was being tarped, and I refreshed  them about  the  conversation we had regarding separating both Rita and Humberto damage, and construction issues that  may be letting water inside. They drove off as a passenger in a red sports car, with a little child, and a older black gentleman driving).

The employee, hearing/rehearing my side of things today, sounded more calm after hearing me out, and volunteered to talk to the owners friend about our conversation.

I said OK, but those details had already been discussed between myself and the owners friend over the phone yesterday, and by email.

2:29 PM - I now need to have yet another conversation with Hanson.


Insurance Adjusters & A Hurricane Humberto Diary

Not even one week into storm work and I've had one insurance adjuster try to put a wedge between myself and my signed client.

It is a Farmers Insurance staff adjuster, or a independent adjuster
representing Farmers,  and I'll refer to him as "Hanson". Hanson is an interesting person. Heres what's happened so far...

9/13/2007  -  Thursday

Humberto Hits. I'm in the third day of my child being in the hospital.
We sleep through the event. The wife calls about 6:30 to check on us.

We are clueless about the stormy event.

I wait for more daylight. I go check out the front of the hospital.
Some small trees are leaning, some 2-3" branches are in the parking
lot. Some maintenance people are up to their knees in water, trying to
clear the drains.

I pass by a business and see a wall has been pulled off by wind. I make a note to see them the next day.

9/14/2007 - Friday

I leave some information about my business with them. They want me to
meet with their adjuster on Monday. I look over the damage briefly. I
tell them to have a good weekend.

9/15/2007 - The adjuster comes on Saturday. The owner is busy, I'm not informed, and am clueless about his assessment.

9/16/2007 - Sunday. I rest, and prepare for Monday.

9/17/2007 - Monday

I go back to business. They say that the adjuster came on Saturday. I
say OK, and go about assessing the storm damage. Rita and Humberto
damage is evident. With the owners permission, I contact  the adjuster.
He is close by in Nederland, and wants to meet and review the damage
together. I agree to do so.

He arrives about 11:00 AM and we go from the roof down in looking for
storm damage. We find both hurricane Rita and hurricane Humberto
damage. He seems to appreciate that I am not trying to claim that
existing Rita damage is Humberto damage. He leaves with the
understanding that he is going to construct and present his loss claim
"adjustment" by Wednesday 9/19/2007.

I discuss the damage with the owner and two of his friends.   One of
the friends wants to clarify if emergency repair dollars can be cut by
the adjuster to dry-in the broken wall, and two other areas. I then
call "Hanson", the adjuster. He is put on speaker phone, and says "no",
that those dry-in costs will be included in the "big check" to them on
Wednesday. In the conversation, Ray states that 'I [me] seem like a
good guy', and he would recommend me to others. The conversation
finishes. We part, and later that day a contract is in place with the
owner to tarp the wall, and other two areas.

9/18/2007 - Tuesday

At the business, with a helper, I clear bent steel wall
framework and some exterior wall material away, and apply the tarp. It
is two story work, and the tarping comes out nicely. On further
inspection of the other two (roof) areas, it is determined that too
much material is loose, and tarping over those areas is not safe. A
note is made to discuss that issue with the adjuster.

9/19/2007 - Wednesday

Because of the degree of wind lift damage, a complete
removal and resetting of the two roofs coverings is discussed with
Hanson this morning. He agrees to that approach. I tell him I have
details ready, and send him the details of the whole work scope, and other damage concerns. I do
not hear  back from him. I start to work on finding lift equipment,
pallets and a portable storage unit  to keep the removed materials
secure, and the public safe.

At approximately 11:00 AM I get a interesting call. One of the friends
of the owner, who I met Monday, and who is helping with the claim process, calls upset and
tells me to hold up on the project, because Hanson said that I was
trying to make Rita damage appear to be Humberto damage, and was trying
to get my name included on any checks.

Per previous conversations with the owner and with Hanson, and emails, showing the opposite being true,
and as disturbing as that was, it was not a new issue to me, an
adjuster pretending to be nice, then trying to make me go away because
I was trying to find ALL current (hurricane Humberto) damage.

As for the name on the checks issue, I inquired about  Farmers protocols for third party's being named on all checks as a simple business detail to protect myself should I be used as their contractor beyond the immediate repair work.

Ask other contractors familiar with insurance work. It is common for insurers to include mortgage companies, contractors, or others, on shared interest reserved funds check-payments.

(After 15 years and 13 catastrophes, and after working with both good and
unscrupulous  adjusters, Hanson was not coming across as nicely as he
had only two days earlier, and  definitely not as nice as today, in the
morning. I called an Attorney about his comments, and my client's
reaction to me about those misleading comments. I will discuss those
issues with the attorney further, tomorrow).

9/20/2007 - Thursday

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