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Has anyone here ever been involved with any fire insurance claim work? Im looking to bid on a house fire with some major damage. I just received the insurance claim/estimate for repair for the project. After throughly investigating the home today myself and coming up with a project material /labor cost I suspect the home owners insurance company is lowballing the bid, BIGTIME. For example: the insurance company wants to clean and paint sheetrock that is been exposed to major heat and smoke saturated. Then he wants to coat rafters with white pigmented shellac paint where as the whole roof system needs to be torn off to repair the charbroiled rafters. He's way short on his roofing takeoff and the list goes on and on. Have you guys ever dealt with something like this before? I dont want the job if I have to go in and half-ass anything. How did you turn the table in the homeowners and your favor? Any insight/info would be much appreciated.

"If U build It they will come" ;)
 

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I haven't bid one personally but I've been involved in fire jobs many times before. We always have engineers on the job telling us what needs to be replaced and what doesn't. If it doesn't need to be replaced then anything black needs to be spray sealed to lock in the smoke.
 

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I do this all the time. My suggestion is for you to put in a bid with the home owner but also let the home owner know some of the figures can be worked with. (if you really want to get the job) Often times insurance will low ball everything and it's up to either you or the home owner to negotiate with the insurance. I only deal with owners, the insurance always pays the owner and not me. I don't do direct insurance work.
 

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Okay, Goosenest: I would be happy to help you. Your situation is a very simple one to solve.

For the last 16 years, I have focused as an insurance restoration contractor (not GC, but specializing in all types of insurance property damage claims) and an independent adjuster for 39 different carriers throughout the United States. My job experience ranges from a $300 roof coverup to a $22 million 310 home earthquake project. I not only have the education for restoration and adjusting, but I also have the actual "hands-on" field experience.

Matter of fact, I am working on a report right now to bridge the gap between estimate of regular contractors and adjusters, so the claims process can run smoother.

The adjuster rights an estimate for only visible damage and what he thinks needs to be done, as long as the estimate line items fall under policy coverage. The burden of proof for actual work to be done falls upon the contractor for the insured. He would have given you a computerized estimate to review based on line items calculated at quantity x unit price in SF or LF. As you know, most regular contractors, who do not specialize in insurance work, write a totally different estimate.

$20 million dollar question: How do you get him to see the light and compare "apples to apples?"

I won't get into all of the details yet, but his comments on cleaning refer to technology to clean certain parts of a loss that are only smoke damaged and not structurally damaged by the heat. When he talks about coating the rafters, he is wanting to seal the odor, but, this is only after a 3-step process has been applied to combat odor. If their is structural damage, this can be addressed by degree of damage and quantity.

For those contractors who specialize in all types of insurance property damage claims, the mentality is to "RESTORE, THEN REPLACE." The regular contractors thinks "REMOVE AND REPLACE." No matter, there is a happy medium. You just have to know how to present your information in the insurance word.

The first 24-72 hours of a fire are the most important to prevent further water or odor damage. This can be discussed later.

There are several questions that I would need to ask you first and also see the estimate. I could probably review his estimate and increase the loss without even seeing the house. This comes from experience.

I look forward to your reply. I am currently in Florida, and I can be reached 24/7. Please reply or here is my phone number...not sure if we can post numbers...I am new....210-823-3864.
 
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