Don’t Fall Prey to Overzealous Adjusters

overzealous adjusters

By Jeff Cross

If you have fallen prey to something, it’s usually not good news. When it happens, you might not want to talk about it. It can sting a bit and put a dent in your ego. But there’s an issue in the restoration industry that we do need to talk about, situations that affect you and your company.

In my last column, we addressed a restoration pricing issue that involved providing feedback to software estimating providers. That strategy is proactive and, over time, can result in some real changes to profitability.

Which then segued me into looking at another issue: when adjusters take it upon themselves to get a little overzealous. When they decide to ignore one important rule of business, which is, the price is the price.

I was privileged to interview Ed Cross, an attorney who works closely with the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) and specializes in helping the industry navigate all types of challenges. In my interview (visit cleanfax.com/overzealous), he lays it all out, how insurance adjusters are often overzealous and try to tell restoration contractors what they should be charging, and what should be on the invoice—and not on the invoice. He describes the key differences between doing program work and running a company as an independent. If you watch the interview and follow Ed’s advice, you will find yourself in a much better place when you try to get paid for your work.

One of the best parts of this interview is when Ed describes the “fake news” component of this issue. “They don’t have a right to dictate what you’re doing. Insurance adjusters cannot dictate restoration charges on these types of projects,” Ed explained. “And they cannot and must not instruct nor require restoration companies to remove items from their invoices, their charges, or to mandate that they change their invoices to match standardized prices. They can’t do that. That’s overstepping. And we need to push back against that.”

Seems pretty simple, yet very important.

I find it interesting when someone feels a company’s price is an open invitation to negotiate. I’ve never tried this out in a retail outlet. But if dictating prices works for adjusters, I figure it’s time for me to test this theory out. Next time I visit the Apple store, I’m going to try to get a new MacBook for $500. Doesn’t matter that they want $1,500. I’ll let you know how that goes. Stay tuned.

Watch the full interview below:


Jeff Cross is the media director for Cleanfax. He can be reached at [email protected] or 740-973-4236.

Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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