State Farm Insurance Work

 
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Old 03-02-2009, 06:38 PM   #1
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State Farm Insurance Work


hi all-

I recently did a major repair job with State Farm. The adjuster was suggesting i get involved with their contractor program. has anyone done work for them, or better yet been in their contractor program? I've done a lot of insurance work so know that side of the business, but not State Farm specifically.

Any feedback would be appreciated.

thanks

iain

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Old 03-02-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Feel free to join them if.....

You want to be locked into certain prices.
Agree to omit certain line items that you could normally charge for.

I've seen Insurance company contractors, not one has driven a decent truck yet. I wonder why.

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Old 03-02-2009, 08:05 PM   #3
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Quote:
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Feel free to join them if.....

You want to be locked into certain prices.
Agree to omit certain line items that you could normally charge for.
Yup, that's Snake Farm
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Old 03-02-2009, 08:18 PM   #4
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


I don't have a lot of experience with state farm but I don't think I can afford any more
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Old 03-02-2009, 09:16 PM   #5
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


I've never worked for an insurance company directly, however I've been a sub for a few other contractors. I quoted the work and got the jobs. They were repairs from burglaries and fires. It was very profitable!

I would think that insurance work would be recession proof. Actually, with the current economic climate I would believe burglaries could be more common!
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Old 03-03-2009, 07:23 AM   #6
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


hey ridgewalker-

i see you are in insurance restoration..... are you part of any preferred contractor programs? how do you like them? if not how do you get your leads?

thanks

iain
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:39 AM   #7
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


I started out first as an estimator for a Public Adjuster, then I went into the field and started Silvertree Construction as a fire and water restoration company. Its different with different ways to get your profits, never let the adjuster tell you what the job pays. You tell them what you need to do it.
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Old 03-03-2009, 06:11 PM   #8
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by idh-custom bldr View Post
hey ridgewalker-

i see you are in insurance restoration..... are you part of any preferred contractor programs? how do you like them? if not how do you get your leads?

thanks

iain
I am not apart of any insurance contractor programs. I work for the home owners, not the insurance company.
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Old 03-03-2009, 08:42 PM   #9
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Alacricity and Crawford have CON-tractor programs for them to abuse you by their terms and price schedules.

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Old 03-04-2009, 11:29 PM   #10
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


A very large portion of our work is insurance peril related. Fortunately, fires, floods, wind, and hail don't care who is in office. What I can tell you is this...as we all had to start somewhere, it is not a business you can just jump into. I have spent years meeting and haggling with engineers, field adjusters, desk adjusters, claims examiners, etc. to gain a reputation as a 'it is what it is' and 'call it like I see it' contractor. My suggestion would be to stay on our side of the fence. Although we have our moments, most discrepencies in price and scope are handled professionally and expitiously by arming yourself with more knowledge of reconstruction, code upgrade, existing conditions, etc. This business is NOT remodeling...it is reconstruction. It is, however, very profitable and is very recession proof. You only have one reputation in this busienss with the insurance companies. You don't have to agree with them or be a patsy to be respected. Just be fair and write up accurate scopes and don't try to get greedy and scope things that are not there. I tell my clients I will get them every dime they deserve but not a nickel more. Also, I won't handle a claim for someone without a written contract that ensures me the work after I have spent all my time and expertise making certain they get paid properly. Your time and expertise is more valuable than your construction abilities in this business.
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Old 03-05-2009, 06:25 AM   #11
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by buildpinnacle View Post
A very large portion of our work is insurance peril related. Fortunately, fires, floods, wind, and hail don't care who is in office. What I can tell you is this...as we all had to start somewhere, it is not a business you can just jump into. I have spent years meeting and haggling with engineers, field adjusters, desk adjusters, claims examiners, etc. to gain a reputation as a 'it is what it is' and 'call it like I see it' contractor. My suggestion would be to stay on our side of the fence. Although we have our moments, most discrepencies in price and scope are handled professionally and expitiously by arming yourself with more knowledge of reconstruction, code upgrade, existing conditions, etc. This business is NOT remodeling...it is reconstruction. It is, however, very profitable and is very recession proof. You only have one reputation in this busienss with the insurance companies. You don't have to agree with them or be a patsy to be respected. Just be fair and write up accurate scopes and don't try to get greedy and scope things that are not there. I tell my clients I will get them every dime they deserve but not a nickel more. Also, I won't handle a claim for someone without a written contract that ensures me the work after I have spent all my time and expertise making certain they get paid properly. Your time and expertise is more valuable than your construction abilities in this business.
I could not have said it better myself.
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Old 03-06-2009, 10:32 AM   #12
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Buildpinnacle: i couldn't agree more with you.......

i started working for a franchised fire and water damage restoration contractor as an estimator in 1988. I went out on my own in 90 and Insurance work is all i did for 13 years. I have continued with it in addition to other custom work i have done lately. i'm considering putting more of an emphasis on insurance work now and have an 'in' with state farm. i'm trying to find out anything i can about state farm specifically. Some companies are better than others. the adjuster i worked with on the claim recently was good guy. i was flexible on certain things so he helped me where he could. it worked out well. i'll probably give it a try, slowly. i know if you can handle the paperwork and the give and take it can be a great business. There is alot to it though, its not something i would dive into if i didn't have as much experience as i do.......bad idea!

thanks

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Old 03-08-2009, 10:05 AM   #13
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


I have heard that State Farm (& some other insurance co's) almost require their "preferred contractors" to use (& buy, of course) Xactimate's software program.

Questions:

1: Is this true (Xactimate software)?
2: If yes: Is Xactimate accurate or are labor prices adjustable with it?
3: For those using Xactimate - is there a huge learning curve?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:37 PM   #14
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


state farm doesn't almost require it...... it requires it, period. it also requires you to attend a training seminar $750 plus travel. you also have to send in all invoices for materials which they use to verify your estimates. ie: if you charge in your estimate for 1000sf of plywood and then only buy 700sf of plywood they want to know why.

how many people would bail by now?

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Old 03-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #15
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Home services:

Xactimate's pricing structure is zip code based. Just as any other estimating software, the line item prices are adjustable if and as needed by the user. In regards to the learning curve, it is no different than any other program...proper training will allow you to use the program at its full potential. Although I am self taught and with as needed training from my peers and adjusters I know, I don't recommend it...take the course.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:20 AM   #16
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Buildpinnacle,

Thanks for the info. Are you doing State Farm work? If yes, can you give me the good, bad & the ugly?

We are thinking about working with SF here locally as a "safety net" so to speak.

We're thinking that with the economic slow down, insurance work will obviously still be there. Thanks in advance...
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Old 03-09-2009, 05:57 PM   #17
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


I don't work for any insurance company as a preferred contractor. I work 100% for the consumer.

The majority of my work is word of mouth, however, I have just started a pretty aggressive online advertising campaign starting with a website at Footbridge Media now 5 months old, free listings in anything I can find on the internet, some premier ads with at&t and embarq online, billboards, and some print mail targeted to affected areas after storms pass through.

We don't have alot of competition in my area. Tyler has a general population of approx 100K with at least that if not a bit more in the surrounding communities of the 2 counties I cover. I have commercial roofing clientele in DFW, Amarillo, OKC, and Tulsa I will travel to service only after large storms. I made a crack to get out of the commercial roofing biz about three years back due to all the traveling to the aforementioned offices and tried to plant my feet as the local remodeling expert. I guess I thought the work was prettier and more prestigious. I have sense learned my lesson and have put most all my eggs back into insurance related work be it hail, wind, tree impact, tornado, fire, water, etc and will do anything from a simple res roof replacement to a total burnout of a commercial bldg.

What I can say is this, when times get tough people tend to spread out their areas of expertise and become bigger jacks of more trades. I believe this to be true for more reasons than just because I got taught the hard way. Stay with what you know. Stay with what you do the best. Stay with what you make the most money in. I tried to become an all inclusive contractor who did anything from replacing a window to building a house. The reality is that i am a very good insurance loss negotiator and know how to put something back together when it falls apart from some type of peril. In addition to that, my men are very good at insurance work, but aren't that good at custom trimwork. (if we have a fire that needs custom trimwork, I hire the custom trimwork guy). If you are a fence builder...be the best most profitable fence builder. Roofers roof, painters paint, deck guys build decks. Specialty contractors will always as a whole make more money than general remodelers or GC's in the long run. You don't have to be too many things to too many people. Before I start getting attacked by the general remodeler's let me say that there are exceptions to every rule. Being a full blown remodeling firm IMHO has the highest learning curve of any of our trades and seems to be the first one newbies want to jump into for some reason. (highjack point not really relevant to the OP, but had to say it)

I am not knocking the preferred networks as I don't know much about them. I choose to be the boss of my company, not big Red (SF for the insurance rookies). My personal experience with State Farm has been pleasant mostly. I don't file half ass claims or questionable hail damage roofs, etc so I haven't had to fight them on much. However, their reputation in the business is one to keep it very close to the vest. They do insure alot of HO's and businesses though.

Sorry for the long post.
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Old 03-09-2009, 06:03 PM   #18
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Quote:
Originally Posted by Home Services View Post
I have heard that State Farm (& some other insurance co's) almost require their "preferred contractors" to use (& buy, of course) Xactimate's software program.

Questions:

1: Is this true (Xactimate software)?
2: If yes: Is Xactimate accurate or are labor prices adjustable with it?
3: For those using Xactimate - is there a huge learning curve?

Thanks in advance.
Home Services:

Go to www.xactware.com and check out xactremodel. It is the same program without the adjuster related tools such as depreciation, claims uplink, policy info, etc. More importantly, only $96.00 per month if you pay month by month or you can get that down to about 1/2 that if you pay by the year.
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Old 03-09-2009, 07:36 PM   #19
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Buildpinnacle,

I will actually thank you for the long post. You gave me very good info, articulated very well. I don't know if you have a blog site to support you business site, but if not, you should. You write in a manner that is easy to follow as well as understand.

Thanks again. I will consider your comments carefully before doing anything with big red (SF).
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:49 PM   #20
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Re: State Farm Insurance Work


Thank you, I appreciate that. Glad I could help.

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