One of the most common black eyes on the insurance claims and the insurance restoration business is the stigma of unscrupulous roofing contractors. The door knocking after a storm, hard sales tactics, poor follow-up and execution on construction, and a litany of other phenomenon experienced by consumers post storm. The practices of contractors, or other not licensed professionals, adjusting insurance claims on behalf of policyholders is referred to amongst the industry as “the unauthorized practice of public adjusting” (“UPPA”).
I spent many years as a general contractor specializing in hail and wind damage restoration, I’ve seen the industry, been to the conventions, and while not all contractors focusing on restoration fit into the stereotypes, unfortunately the vast majority do. Throughout my years in the business I’ve seen it all, the worst of the worst.
The most common injustice and negative affect on consumers and business owners is utilizing a restoration contractor as your representative in an insurance claim. Presently this is the vast majority of how insurance claims are represented. Restoration contractors knock doors, and convince policyholders to sign contracts under the promise that they will negotiate the scope of repairs with the insurance company and complete the restoration for the amount agreed to with the insurance company, less the insured’s deductible. Seems reasonable yes?
There are many reasons why this process commonly leads to an insured not being properly indemnified for their sustained damages, and many other professionals (who are far smarter than I) whose writings on the subject matter covers this issue in tremendous detail. I have included links to these publications and resources below, and would encourage ANY policyholder who is thinking about allowing a contractor to “represent” them in their claim, to take the time to read these publications to truly understand the impact it has on policyholders. While there are many states that actively pursue and prosecute those whom adjust claims without the proper licenses, there are many without the desire, or proper resources to do so. Unless this practice and the consequences of UPPA are brought to the attention of unsuspecting policyholders, it will continue to be one of the single most harmful practices that prevents policyholders from obtaining fair and accurate claim settlements.
“Brief of Amici Curiae”, National Association of Public Insurance Adjusters and Texas Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, In Support OF Appellees, by Brian S. Goodman, Esq. and Steve J. Badger, Esq.
“The Costs of The Unlicensed Practice Of Public Adjusting, A Legal And Economic Analysis”, by Robert C. Baker III
“Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting and the Lon Smith Roofing Case Should Scare Contractors and Roofers with Contingent Contracts”, by Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog, Chip Merlin, Esq.
“Unauthorized Practice of Public Adjusting Trends”, by Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog, Chip Merlin, Esq.