Your disaster response team should include contractors and several other resources and support – outside of your own staff.
As more and more “smaller” contractors are tackling bigger commercial disaster projects, they often find themselves in over their heads, and we get the panicked phone call. We understand that most restoration contractors want to get and perform large commercial disaster projects, but most are totally and completely unprepared to appropriately respond and then handle the loss properly.
We are seeing contractors “in over their head” because they have not assembled all the right players to help the property owner recover with the greatest success. One of the key ingredients (resources) every property owner should consider is hiring a Public Adjuster!
Even the restoration contractor that has lots of equipment and a skilled staff will find themselves needing outside equipment and manpower resources to have the real success they want. Many
times, it’s simply the challenge of dealing with a large loss adjuster that can be intimidating. Working alongside a great public adjuster can be valuable to the contractor as well as the property owner!
In addition to a skilled public adjuster, if you want to be one of the power brokers of the disaster recovery industry, you need to line up all your resources well ahead of the large commercial loss coming to you. This includes other disaster contractors, water extraction (or carpet cleaners with truck mounts), and skilled labor-ready companies able to provide you with qualified laborers.
You also need to get relationships set up with other vendors like equipment rental companies, large loss equipment rental suppliers, and especially those that can deliver, AND set-up, AND run large loss projects on your behalf. Beware of the “chain” rental companies that really don’t have much equipment on hand and force you to wait days while they truck it in from another region!
Just the ability to have someone else handle the administration, billing, staff hourly tracking, photos, and all the other critical documents required on a large loss will allow you to confidently take on big jobs and get them completed successfully with timely payment. Some disaster recovery companies can achieve the mitigation portion fairly well, what smaller (and many larger) contractors lack is doing the documentation timely and accurately, to satisfy the commercial property owner and the large loss adjuster.
Since the contractor isn’t expected to (and shouldn’t) interpret the insurance policy, you should encourage the property owner to engage a public adjuster to be sure they are well represented and not being misled by the carriers’ adjuster!
Once you realize you cannot be an island, that you must depend on others if you want to do large loss projects, you will start dialing. You can call me (Dick Wagner – Bill Giannone – Scott Tarpley – Cheryl Wagner – Scott Friedson) and many others that will provide you with great resource connections.
Most contractors strive to be a significant player in the industry – most don’t know how to get into that position. This is what we do – daily! We can help.
By Dick Wagner – Guest Blogger