Phone call last week:

A friend was doing an insurance job, repairs to an exterior wall. The siding had been improperly installed, and here in the Pacific Northwest, if you don’t keep the water out you’ll see rot sooner or later.

After doing the tearout, he found a lot more structural damage than was expected. He stopped, brought the owners out and showed it to them. They told him to write the change order and they would submit that to the insurance carrier as well. He did, they did and guess what? The insurance adjuster told the homeowners that they had used up all their repair money on the original agreement and if they wanted these newfound problems fixed, it would have to come out of their own pocket.

The homeowner turned on my friend in a heartbeat. His price was too high and they accused him of gouging them on the new work as well as the original project. Now that it was coming out of their pocket, how dare he treat them that way?

So they called in another contractor recommended by the insurance adjuster. That contractor looked at the job while my friend was working on the first job. He turned to the homeowner and told them that my friend’s price for the work was more than reasonable; in fact he would want more money to do the work than my friend. Bless his heart, I’m sure there is a place for him in heaven.

The new contractor was smart enough to see a problem staring him in the face. He did the smart thing and excused himself out of the job. He did not want to deal with these people and who can blame him? My friend got the additional work order signed and added plenty of contractual language to protect himself against any future problems with these homeowners. He made them sign before he continued with the job.

Could this all have been foreseen? I don’t know, but thankfully my friend was smart enough to have written an original contract that prevented him from getting bit. His additional work order was just as well written and this is one story that should end with our hero getting paid for the work that he is doing.

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Milt Rye
Milt Rye
July 2, 2010 4:09 am

My perspective as a 13 yr veteran of the insurance repair industry is that this contractor could have also helped himself in the beginning by getting the insurance adjuster/co contact info and discussing these concealed repair possibilities with the adjuster before he began work and gotten preliminary approval. I have yet to meet an adjuster who writes a complete repair scope and thinks like a contractor. Their perspective is that they can always pay more, but can never pay less once the check is written so they tend to short the scope and hope they can close the claim. (Most… Read more »

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