From the beginning it seems there has always been the "Us Against Them" mentality when negotiating mitigation claims. Arguments about overhead and profit, the number of air movers or dehumidifiers and how long the equipment runs seems to be the biggest issues. I have even seen Social Media groups created to fight against the insurance company over a multitude of issues the "Us Against Them" attitude creates.
Now I have to admit I usually side with the contractor because they are the experts and have the certifications and experience drying but, I do know the insurance company have their issues as well. There are three simple solution that can eliminate any issues with your invoice:
- Follow IICRC
- Publish or Parish
- Be conservative tearing out.
IICRC: Following the IICRC guidelines is the number one way to get paid without any arguments from the adjuster. Psychrometrics is not a guess or an opinion it's science. Its understanding the scientific relationship between temperature, humidity and air flow and can help dry materials faster and more thoroughly.
Publish or Parish: Document, Document, Document. Make sure you take all the necessary readings before, during and after the drying period. If the Psychrometrics are right and you are showing the structure is drying with daily drying logs, there can be no argument because you have the documented proof.
Tearing Out: There are improved methods of drying that can reduce the need to tear out drywall, carpet and pad. Make sure your staff is up to date with these advanced methods. This is the best way to become a trusted partner instead of a pain to the adjuster.
In reality the adjuster wants and needs to justify why he is paying your invoice. Why not give him the tools he needs to show his superiors that the invoice is legitimate. The adjuster wants to close his or her file and move on to the next claim. As far as the overhead and profit on mitigation, that is a completely different argument although I can see both sides having legitimate points. We will shelf that argument for future articles.