A New Use for Ozone Machines?
At a local meeting for restoration and insurance claims contractors in Washington, someone brought up a new "health hack" shared by actress Gwyneth Paltrow. Contractors may be encouraged to add on a revenue stream for their business with their existing equipment, i.e. ozone machines and wall drying systems. The actress says, "It's pretty weird," but, "It's been very helpful." The procedure she was discussing was ozone insufflation or rectal ozone therapy.
Listen to Episode 100 of The DYOJO Podcast to hear more about this concept.
Insurance Claims Predators
In the wake of Hurricane Ian, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis went on television to warn consumers about unscrupulous contractors and public adjusters. Patronis refered to them as "locusts" and "predators" that complicate the recovery process. He encouraged residents to contact their insurance agent, carrier representative, or his office rather than any other party. He announced that there will be an "insurance village" where the government and the insurance companies are working together to write checks. The date of this speech was September 29, 2022 as part of a presentation with Governor Ron DeSantis.
Florida CFO Labels Contractors and Public Adjusters "Locusts" and "Predators"
Transcript from the Jimmy Patronis video shared above:
Now here's the most important thing I need you to take away from this conversation. The predators that are going to come up, they're gonna initially try to sign up construction management contracts, public adjuster, they're going to come in like a bunch of locusts. And they're trying to hit the neighborhoods. And people are vulnerable right now. They're going to look for a solution. And their solution is always going to be important. But that solution is not going to be knocking on the door every time. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Please, that first phone call that you're going to make needs to be to your agent, your carrier, or to my office at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO. If one of the first three phone calls you make in your house in order to get an insurance claim settled is one of those three, there's almost zero chance you can be taken advantage of. But, Panama City was my hometown, I lived through Hurricane Michael. We did. We did 12 Insurance villages there over a year sponsored. We're going to be here bringing the carrier's back. And they will write checks on site. Okay. But when you start complicating the claim, because you've allowed predators to get involved with your claim, you're going to drag it out. So the best solution is between you, your carrier, and us. The more people you bring into it, the harder it's going to be to get a settlement that's going to be fair for everybody. And look at the end of the day. If your carrier doesn't want to work with you. That's when you call my office and we'll take them to task."
Predatory Practices During Insurance Claims
In a state whose insurance system is so much in disrepair and has come under so much scrutiny, not just in the last couple of years, but for quite some time now. There's no mention of the insurance company's participation, or the state's mismanagement, or the government's inability to effectively help shift things back into the right order. There is no accountability for Patronis, the government, or the insurance companies. Even the policyholders have some responsibility when consumers seize upon the opportunity to use an event to their Betterment rather than just to their repair.
Patronis says, "The predators that going to come in like a bunch of locusts" while "people are vulnerable." No one would dispute that there are bad actors in all sectors. What left many people questioning his choice of words was the stutus of the insurance claims industry and process in his state. There are predatory practices in the insurance claims industry, Mr. Patronis places a lopsided amount of the blame on two parties in particular, contractors and public adjusters.
Are door-to-door sales predatory? Are we to understand that if a consumer who has someone knocking on the door offering to provide a service that they need the logic of the CFO of the state of Florida says that they are likely a predator? If this is the case, what is his solution? Patronis instructs consumers to call their agent, their insurance company, or his office (the government).
Patronis says that if your first call is to one of the three members of the good team, "There's almost zero chance you can be taken advantage of." I think history has shown, especially in the state of Florida, that no one cares more for the consumer than the government and the insurance companies, right?
The Jimmy Patronis Claims Remedy
If a policyholder who has severe damages to their home in the state of Florida follows Patronis' advice, how does the reader think this scenario will play out?
The policyholder calls their local insurance agent. Hmmm, does the reader forsee any issue there? A local insurance agent who lives in the same hurricane ravaged area as the policyholder. If they aren't dealing with their home and office being destroyed, what is the likelihood that their office phone is overwhelmed with similar calls? What is the chance that the consumer gets through to their local insurance agent, it's probably very low. So, what should they do, just keep calling and wait patiently until they can get through?
The policyholder calls their insurance company's claims line. After a catastrophic event, it's likely that they will get through quickly and that the carrier will have a representative out in a timely manner as well, right? The reader knows that hurricane recovery is a process and it takes time. But, does that mean the home or business owner should keep calling and wait patiently until they can get through?
The policyholder calls the office of Jimmy Patronis. After a catastrophic event, it's likely that they will get through quickly and that the carrier will have a representative out in a timely manner as well, right? The reader knows that hurricane recovery is a process and it takes time. But, does that mean the home or business owner should keep calling and wait patiently until they can get through?
Mr. Patronis says his office will model prior hurricanes and create an insurance village where carriers will be writing checks onsite. If the reader watches the video clip from The DYOJO Podcast or reads the transcript, Jimmy advises, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." But of course, his statement wouldn’t apply to the government or the insurance companies (the good guys) only to the bad guys.
If consumers don't wait for the government and the insurance companies to get their insurance village set up and then meet them there, Patronis says they are at fault?
Protecting Consumers By Reducing Their Rights
Most people listening to the Patronis speech get caught up in the "locust" comment. But there are so many items he brings up that are far more concerning. Jimmy wants policyholders to make the calls, wait for the answers, and then join him in the insurance village for their check. He warns consumers, "When you start complicating the claim, because you've allowed predators to get involved with your claim, you're going to drag it out." In summary, Jimmy says that policyholders complicate their claims and drag them out by allowing predators into the process.
Jimmy says that policyholders complicate their claims and drag them out by allowing predators into the process.
As we have said many times, The Restoration Triangle should be respected. The policyholder, the contractor, and the insurance carrier each have roles and responsibilities during the claims process. If the consumer does not believe that the claims process is going the way it should, that the policy is not being enforced the way it was sold to them, or the way it is stipulated in their insurance policy, then claims advocates, public adjusters, and lawyers are options well within their rights.
When Patronis encourages consumers not to understand nor exercise their rights is the government playing its role in protecting the consumer?
If there was a contractor or a public adjuster or a lawyer that was advising policyholders to ignore their insurance company, that could be a legitimate orange flag. The consumer, their contractor of record, and the carrier each has a role to play. The carrier should not overstep in the relationship between the contractor and the consumer. Nor should the contractor overstep in the relationship between the carrier and the policyholder.
The claims questions should include:
Accountability For All Claims Predators
Patronis says his office is going to "Be here, bringing the carriers back, and they will write checks onsite." His message is, "Come trust the government and the insurance companies. Don't exercise your rights to consult with a contractor, public adjuster, or a lawyer." What is the reason that a policyholder should not exercise their rights? According to the CFO of Florida, it will complicate the process of reaching an outcome that is “fair for everybody”.
Bad actors should be called to account. Yet, the disbursement of consequences is as lopsided as the disbursement of funds from those holding the policy monies. As we have discussed before, if a policyholder is negligent or misrepresents the truth on their claim (i.e. fraud), they can be criminally prosecuted. If an insurance company delays, denies, or defends a claim, to the detriment of the policyholder, they are often civilly prosecuted at most. The consumer may go to jail while the carrier may only pay a fine.
As David Princeton, author of the C&R Magazine segment “Dear David”, mentions in the closing segment of this video clip from The DYOJO Podcast, "Is there something that needs to be done? Certainly. But I also think something needs to be done on the carrier side because at least on the public side there's scrutiny to look at that and on the carrier side there's no scrutiny." This video and this article are not dismissing the reality of predatory practices by contractors, public adjusters, and lawyers, but calling for equal scrutiny of the people claiming to be the solution.
The DYOJO Podcast Episode 100 will feature Bill Wilson, author of When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes, as well as David Princeton, Advocate Claim Service.
On Tuesday, June 13, 2023 the Fellowship of Construction Knowledge and Entrepreneurial Development (FoCKED) plans to host a mini mitigation summit in Washington state. We are working out the details of this education and networking event but here is what we know so far:
We will be working with the June FoCKED host American Water Damage Restoration to secure a location in the Edmonds, Washington area.
Topics and Presentations from local water damage mitigation professionals:
Training The Next Generation of Restorers
Hiring and retaining quality staff is consistently listed among the toughest challenges in the skilled trades. Restoration owners and managers will share their experiences recruiting, hiring, training, and developing the next generation of water damage professionals.
Using Technology In To Elevate Restoration
How can modern restorers utilize technology to increase their ability to deliver quality service in their local markets? Restoration owners and managers will share their experiences with which technologies have been effective in elevating the services within their companies.
Creative Solutions For Challenging Scenarios
It’s one thing to learn how to dry a structure within a controlled environment, but how do restorers train their teams to problem solve for an endless variety of complications on the job site? Restoration owners and managers will share their experiences with sourcing creative solutions from the industry and within their own teams to meet challenging water damage scenarios.
Understanding and Implementing Industry Standards
Restorers express frustration over the lack of knowledge from many service providers claiming to be water damage mitigation experts. Restoration owners and managers will share their experiences with understanding and implementing standards within their organization as well as ways they have worked to help their peers do the same.
If you are a contractor, property restoration business owner, or water damage professional, please reach out to The DYOJO to hear more about our monthly education and networking meetings for contractors in Washington State. We look forward to meeting with you on the second Tuesday of every month. Check out our FoCKED Events Calendar for more information on our regular meetings and special events.
Insurance Claims Tip Number One from Bill Wilson author of When Words Collide: Resolving Insurance Coverage and Claims Disputes.
Tip Number One from Bill Wilson, "Keep very good records."
It sounds simple enough, keep very good records. Yet many people don't practice this simple insurance claims survival recommendation.
This has been the insurance claims tips with author Bill Wilson. Tune in for Episode 100 of The DYOJO Podcast as insurance claims advocate David Princeton will join us for our discussion on insurance claims predators and the issue of matching materials.
Who Will Kill Cordyceps?
Have you observed the popular series Last of Us on HBO Max? Without spoiling too much of the show, this is a zombie-type thriller where the contagion is not a virus or a bacteria, but a parasitic fungus. Cordyceps, an actual mold known to take over the minds and bodies of entire ant colonies, is the culprit.
In anticipation of the property restoration and mold remediation companies seizing upon the elevated discourse regarding microbial growth due to this pop culture fixture, The DYOJO has created an advertisement as an exemplar. Which mold removal contractor will be the first to utilize the horrors of Last of Us, an apocalyptic thriller set in the near future, to promote their assessment and remediation services?
Join us as we cross between modern cinematic storytelling and real-world horrors in a clip adapted from Episode 99 of The DYOJO Podcast ("Let Us Speak of Moldy Things").
Thursdays are for The DYOJO Podcast - helping contractors shorten their DANG learning curve.
A few episodes (of The DYOJO Podcast) back we introduced that we are working on book number five. The working title for this book is Challenge Accepted: An Open Letter To Young People Entering The Workforce. This Book is designed to help those entering the workforce. It's a tool for managers who are hiring young people and want to give them some tools to help them understand what it takes to be successful. It's a resource for parents who want to encourage their children to develop the right mindset and habits for career advancement.
The Career Learning Curve
We recorded a video where we read from the rough draft of the Introduction for Challenge Accepted. For this article we will discuss The Learning Curve.
What is the learning curve? It is the gap between where someone is (honest evaluation) and where they want to be (goals). This gap is bridged by what this person needs to learn. For anyone who wants to bridge this gap, they have to recognize where they are and establish a vision for where they want to be.
The learning curve is the bridge that carries a person closer to their vision for their life. We speak often on The DYOJO Podcast about helping contractors shorten their DANG learning curve. This is true for anyone at any point in their life, there is no shortcut for each person's learning curve. As a professional, at any age, there's no shortcut for the learning curve. But, everyone can shorten their learning curve.
Achieving Your Goals
In our latest book (COMING SOON) Challenge Accepted, we discuss the process of closing that gap. There are two factors that will help young professionals accelerate their journey, their inputs and their outputs.
If the reader viewed our prior video on the Introduction for Challenge Accepted, we discussed the Three Be's:
Each professional needs to develop their ability to apply their heart to what they observe if they are going to learn lessons from what they see. The most immediate challenge facing young people entering the workforce is moving from where they are now to where they want to be in the near future. This is the same challenge that faces any person wanting to move closer to their vision.
Book for Young Professionals
Challenge Accepted is an open letter to young people entering the workforce. For business owners this is a book that will help people on staff who want to advance within your company. This book will help professionals identify ways to move between The Three Where's:
This book will help those who want to seek a career, develop as a professional, and pursue what success means to them. Challenge Accepted will help guide the reader transition from where they are (Where #1) to where they want to be (Where #3). To develop as a professional each person needs to be honest about their current level of knowledge, skills and abilities so that they can learn to develop them further. This book will help identify the resources that will help the reader shorten their DANG learning curve.
Challenge Accepted, book number five coming from The DYOJO and author Jon Isaacson, also known as The Intentional Restorer. Challenge Accepted: An Open Letter To Young People Entering The Workforce.
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten