Doctoring Insurance Estimates
Attorney Steven Bush asks, “But let me get this straight. Okay, because I want to make sure that everybody's clear. So you, when you, representing the insurance company, went to the policyholder's house. You viewed the damage yourself. You wrote a scope of the damages and estimated the damages, and then you send it in. And then they changed your scope to represent the insurance company's guidelines? And that’s the scope that they represent. They left your name on it, is that correct?”
Independent adjuster on a laptop screen responds, “Yes.”
Do Insurance Companies Ever Doctor Claims Estimates?
We're in between episodes of The DYOJO Podcast. So we wanted to share three things with you.
1. What We're Working On - the Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery workshop with G. Pete Consigli, CR, WLS
2. In The News - At least 21 independent adjusters are acting as whistleblowers calling out insurance companies for doctoring estimates. Including clips of Attorney Steven Bush interviewing whistleblowers from insurance companies after Hurricane Ian in southwest Florida.
3. One More Tidbit - A preview of some content we are developing for the issue of matching materials for insurance claims. This includes snippets from our conversation with Bill Wilson, David Princeton, and an unnamed independent adjuster.
What We're Working On: Storm Response Workshop
What are we working on? At The DYOJO we're always writing. We're always working on something. But there is one big thing I want to make sure everyone is aware of because the clock is ticking. Pete Consigli, the Global Restoration Watchdog, and Jon Isaacson are teaming up to put a one-day workshop together. This is called Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery.
WHAT: Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery, one-day workshop
WHERE: In-person, Hilton Naples, Florida; Remote, Zoom
WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 2023 730am – 530pm EST
REGISTRATION: In-person and online tickets available until 1/25/23 at 5pm EST, early bird discounts until 1/19/23 at 5pm EST – Workshop Eventbrite
This will be right after the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium (aka Winter Break 2023), which is on that Tuesday and Wednesday of January 25th and 26th. Andrew Ask will feature a historic four-person panel The Pioneers of Building Science. This panel is something that's been in the works for a long period of time. This group of building science pioneers is going to be together and likely may not all be together at the same event like this gain. If you want a full week's worth of education and networking, heed the advice of Bob Blochinger, “Come here and have a lot of fun and gain some education.”
For those in Naples, the Monday prior to the Andrew Ask event, Pete and I are working on a meet and greet collaboration called the Moisture Mob Neighborhood. We’re going off a Mr. Rogers Neighborhood vibe and bringing the old dogs, the watchdogs, the moisture mob, and members of the restoration industry’s history, together with the up and coming restorers. We want to connect professionals from all disciplines and generations that have a passion for doing things the right way. Those that want to know about the history of the industry and carry that forward.
You can’t beat the weather in Florida. It's one of the Snowbird destination spots and I've not been to that side of Florida so I'm looking forward to it. Looking forward to hanging out with Pete Consigili, Cliff Zlotnik, Randy Rapp, Charlie Casani, and more. We've got the agenda posted on The DYOJO webpage. You can look at the list of speakers and the panel presentations. We have early bird discounts going through the 19th of January. There is in-person attendance if you want to travel to Florida or plan to be in Florida for Andrew Ask. There will also be remote participation via Zoom with early bird discounts for that. So, whether you want to watch that by yourself, or gather the office together and view it as a team, I think there's gonna be a lot of really useful information.
This workshop is timely given the series that we've been working on at The DYOJO Podcast. We’ve been reviewing Robert Jordan Construction (RJC) versus Arlington Independent School District (AISD). This is a case where a contractor assisted on a Winter Storm Uri loss in 2021. The contractor felt they had to sue in order to get their money. But as we've been pulling back the curtains by digging into the court documents, there's definitely some lessons to be learned on both parties and things that maybe could have kept them out of litigation and got them a lot closer to the number that they were hoping for.
How To Suck Less At Estimating is Now an Online Course
The DYOJO is excited to announce that our best-selling book How To Suck Less At Estimating: Habits For Better Project Outcomes is now available as an online course. This six-module course is available through our friends at Restoration Technical Institute. If you sign up for the course, you get a free PDF copy of the book that is designed to correspond with the learning materials.
In The News: Insurance Whistleblowers
I believe I first heard of this story from Insurance Journal, where independent adjusters charge Florida insurers with doctoring damage estimates. What's interesting, as much as contractors often complain about some of the third-party administrators (TPAs), the insurance adjusters, a lot of the ones that we talk to complain as well.
These programs are supposed to solve the communication piece. It should, in theory, help us get to a quicker agreed-upon scope and initial cost so the ball can keep rolling for repairing the structure. This doesn't always happen. I would like to be the first to say:
Everybody has a bit of fault in that we're working with this imperfect process. But what is coming down the pipe or seems to be increasing is this doctoring issue. The majority of these are related to storms. I believe this was testimony before the Florida House of Representatives. But there seems to be particular shenanigans, anywhere where there's more storm activity.
In the Whistleblower video the participants talk about a tile roof estimate where the independent adjuster, a licensed independent adjuster, physically went to the property, assessed the damage themselves on behalf of the insurance company, and believed that all or the majority of the roof needed to be replaced. Then the carrier representative - or I apologize not the carrier representative but the program representative - the third party administrator changed the estimate. Many people have brought up often these TPA representatives are not licensed adjusters. They're not licensed public adjusters, but they're implementing guidelines without ever having been to the property and overriding the independent adjuster.
Some of you may not understand that there are:
An independent adjuster doesn’t always have the authority of a captive adjuster, but they do have the training and the licensing. As they talk about in the Whistleblower video, they have the documentation to support what they believe is the proper extent and remedy for damages. So before I get too far into the weeds, let's let's listen in.
I found this video on the Hurricane Ian Show on YouTube. It says Whistleblower Insurance Adjusters Describe Fraudulent Activity on Hurricane Ian Claims. If you're watching the video, the person that we're first viewing straight ahead appears to be attorney Stephen Bush, who is conducting the interviews. There's a gentleman sitting at the left who appears to be the same person in the Insurance Journal article on the front of that article. They're interviewing another couple of adjusters on the computer. This appears to be a video produced by the American Policyholder Association known as the APA. And they are policyholder advocates.
Attorney Steven Bush asks, “So you guys were working these claims you were visiting with the policyholders. You were looking at their damages, writing their estimates and so on. Why don't you tell us what happened after that.”
Independent adjuster, “So I began submitting the claims. And it’s understandable it took a while for the files to begin being reviewed. I noticed on my first claim that was reviewed, I received notification from Xactanalysis, which is the system that runs our estimating system, that a file had been “collaborated”. And I thought that was odd, because usually what happens is that if somebody wants to change an estimate, the reviewer will reach out to us directly and ask us to make changes. We can discuss if the changes are necessary or not. So I went into the claim. And this claim was, this particular claim was a tile roof with substantial damage to it. Therefore, I estimated to replace the entire roof. However, the collaboration that the reviewer changed the estimate to reflect replacing 499 tiles, which I thought was really unusual.”
This matching issue I think is going to become more and more of an issue, especially if the economy gets tighter. I think that's one of the areas insurance companies are going to tighten in because it's it's an area of ambiguity. We see matching, they mentioned roofing, siding, flooring is another big one, cabinets, countertops, those kinds of things.
I think these roles and responsibilities are important for the members of the Restoration Triangle:
We call this The DYOJO Insurance Claims Standard as outlined most of our books (see video).
The insured should say, “Wait a minute, that's not what was explained to me when I purchased the insurance policy.” The should get their local insurance agent involved. If the claims process and holdouts are really not making sense, then they might have to escalate things further. But this “collaboration” issue where someone, the carrier or the TPA, changes the estimate, of the contractor or the independent adjuster, but leaves the other parties name on it, that's potential for getting the estimator in trouble. It’s not a line that should be crossed.
Independent adjuster, “The changed estimate is no longer my estimate because I didn't change it. So obviously, I was upset and asked him about it. And his response was that well, they change the estimates in order to reflect the carrier guidelines.”
Attorney, “So the company you're working for told you that they were we're changing your estimates so that your estimates reflected the carrier's guidelines.”
Attorney, “But what about the damage?”
IA, “I completely agree with that implication. Right, the damage was, was still there. So I called Mark and I said, ‘Hey, have you noticed that?’ Because he was working before I was and he said let me check and he checked and the conversation was that they were changing his estimates as well. I didn't have a conversation with Dan but I knew that Mark knew him and had that conversation too.”
IA #2, “There's a photo report where we've sent in, where we show the damage on the other report, to support what we wrote. And you know, we looked together and we pulled it up and sure enough you know, there were changes made to just about all on this thing, its amazing.”
Attorney, “Let me get this straight. Okay, because I want to make sure that everybody's clear. So, you representing the insurance company, went to the policyholder's house, you viewed the damage yourself. You wrote a scope of the damages and estimated the damages, then you send it in and then they changed your scope to represent the insurance company's guidelines, and that scope that they represent the left journey Come on it. Is that correct?”
Attorney, “And then when they left your name on it, the scope that they were presenting to the policyholder did not reflect the proper damages that was sustained from the storm. Is that correct?”
Okay, so if this gets your blood temperature raising. Apparently, the lawsuit that kicked this off was brought by SFR Services, a South Florida restoration firm. They claimed to have text messages from United desk adjusters and other company personnel than instructed field adjusters to avoid estimating wind damages altogether. To downplay damages and damage estimates for hundreds of claims or to add false information. Of course, the representation from Universal said this is absolutely not the case.
According to an article from Insurance Journal, Universal attorney, Travis Miller stated that the company simply has never in its history had a practice of alternating manipulating or doctrine independent adjusters reports for delivery to insurance. He suggested that the adjusters had confused Universal with United Property and Casualty Insurance, which was a defendant in a lawsuit this year that alleged similar actions by United employees.
To some degree, I can see the insurance company saying, “No, that was the third-party administrator (TPA). We weren't aware of this was happening.” But these are direct lawsuits with the carriers. So this is where it gets interesting.
“It’s extremely widespread,” said Mark Boardman, president of Claims Management Services Inc., based in Maitland, Florida. “Can I prove it? No. But I have had a lot of anecdotal conversations with adjusters about it.”
So, it's a lot of people talking around it. But a federal judge in October dismissed the suit from SRS Services noting that federal law leaves it to states to regulate the insurance business. A similar suit is now pending in state court in Martin County.
In an article from our friends at Claims Pages that links to Repair Driven News, says that there are two related lawsuits, one dismissed and the other pending, had been filed over this issue in Florida. The first was the one we mentioned with SFR Services, the restoration firm out of South Florida, against United Property and Casualty Insurance. That one the federal court kicked back to the state. But the second, Mandel and Vinson are now working with Attorney Stephen Bush. That's the video we showed you.
Bush told the Insurance Journal he plans to file a class action lawsuit against property insurers over the allegedly altered adjuster reports. Bush said 21 independent adjusters have come to him and are expected to be part of the lawsuit. Criminal charges may also result from this process, the adjusters told the Insurance Journal. That will be interesting to keep an eye on for sure.
As for the whistleblower video, if an insured is having issues with their insurance company this might be one to share. I think you could be playing with fire, so be sure you know what you are doing. For example, just because someone doesn't like a line item that you used or doesn't completely agree with your scope doesn't mean that they're in bad faith or committing fraud. I hope those that are listening will take this in the broader picture, I think there's instances and customers where this might be relevant. Something to understand and be aware of is this “collaboration” mechanism. If the carrier is changing the estimate it is now their estimate and they need to put their name on it, not the estimators.
One More Tidbit: Matching Materials for Insurance Claims
If you're a contractor, this case is one to watch. In my mind, the roofing scenario that the independent adjuster brought up in the whistleblower video is one that's been on my radar. We've been preparing our team and I've been thinking through how to cross that bridge when we come to it with insurance. If it's in the policy, and that's what the customer signed up for, there's not a lot to say about that. If it's ambiguous, there's going to be issues as the insurance companies tighten their grip. So that's our One More Tidbit, we're going to look a little bit at matching materials for insurance claims and talk about some conversations that are coming up later this year.
I think insurance policyholders and contractors, need to ask more questions such as, “Can you please clarify in the policy where it states your position on matching?” In my opinion, I think it’s tied to the economy. If the economy continues to go down, this materials matching issue is going to be an area where they sharpen their pencils.
Information from an unnamed independent adjuster, “I sent you that file. I mean, if there's no match, I don't see why it wouldn't start trending that direction. And if they're trying to cut corners or cut costs, what was reported to me is that vendors are being told if we want more work then we’ve got to follow their new guidelines.”
This is something that we'll include in a later episode. But this is a conversation, an independent adjuster reached out to The DYOJO Podcast here on the West Coast, just so you can't say, well, that's just a Florida thing. So here's a small clip, we've distorted the voice to protect the innocent.
IA, “Sure, guidelines are basically designed to cut costs. And so as a third party, you know, if you want business, you’ve got to do their bidding. But then they can point the finger back at us as the ones choosing to write the estimates the way they are. So it's hard as an independent. We're not. We don't really have any control of what we adjust. Otherwise, if we write anything outside of the box, it will be rejected. So we're trained to write inside the box. And when they change the box, we're forced to write stuff that we may not agree with.”
The DYOJO, “Stuff that's traditionally been covered?”
Its important to understand what matching is as it relates to that particular policy. If the policy doesn't spell it out, that ambiguity should fall to the policyholder. We recorded with Bill Wilson, author of When Words Collide and David Princeton from Advocate Claim Service, so we'll get that out later this coming year.
David Princeton, “Replacement cost has to mean something more than just putting a new shingle in, right? And you know, now we have repairability standards and other things have evolved as they've gotten more complicated. That patchwork roof, let's say it's an acceptable repair. But that's where they said no replacement cost, you’ve got to put it all back. Because you're restoring the value, restoring the loss of that value to that property. That's kind of the framework that I look at for these things. I look at the principle of indemnity and the contrast between actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost (RCV). Right? If I have a replacement cost policy and not an actual cash value policy, that's where your promise has to be broader.”
Bill Wilson, “If you look up ever took like INS 21 it'll say what is a loss and they get the answer. The definition is loss or reduction in value. Value can mean many things. When we think of value it includes the cost to rebuild. Replaced includes the market value and exactly what you're talking about. In auto insurance, the concept is diminished value. A car that's been wrecked, even if it's rebuilt perfectly, is still worth less than a car that's never been wrecked even though functionally and appearance wise everything is identical. It's that mental perception that people have of a willing buyer and seller that it's not worth what it would have been if it wasn't in a wreck. So, every insurance company puts a provision in the policy where they don't cover diminished value. You can have a few shingles replaced or the whole roof, but it's going to cost you. So, is everybody willing to pay double the premium to have that coverage? And if so, why not provide it?”
Stay Tuned With The DYOJO Podcast
On our last episode of The DYOJO Podcast, we talked about two court cases. One case where the contractor did well in understanding the agreement and documenting what they did and prevailed in court. The other is the one that we've been talking about at length RJC versus AISD, where it's a lot more ambiguous and that caused a lot more problems.
So we're going from those two litigation scenarios back into our RJC discussion. We're going to be reviewing how that relates to data for moisture documentation. We're going to review some moisture mapping with Josh Winton, we're going to review some moisture strategies with Cliff Zlotnik. We're also going to talk how that intersects with your agreement and lack of documentation with Bebo Crain.
What did we learn today?
So, go forth and do good things. We're here to help you shorten your DANG learning curve and hopefully we've done that today.
Storm Response Presentation
The one-day workshop, Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery, presented by The DYOJO and Pete Consigli will include a unique roster of speakers and presenters.
The agenda will include panel presentations for the following areas of expertise:
Kris Rzesnoski will be making the first presentation of data Encircle collected from disaster response for Hurricane Ian. This is a first of its kind discussion titled "What Went Wrong, What Went Right" which will be delivered in the Ted Talk styling.
Hurricane Recovery Sponsor
Thank you to event sponsor Encircle - The leading field documentation solution
Lessons Learned Workshop
WHAT: Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery, one-day workshop
WHERE: In-person, Hilton Naples, Florida; Remote, Zoom
WHEN: Thursday, January 26, 2023 730am - 530pm EST
REGISTRATION: In-person and online tickets available until 1/25/23 at 5pm EST, early bird discounts until 1/19/23 at 5pm EST - Workshop Eventbrite
The registration site is active for the Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery workshop. In addition to the panel discussions, there will be unique presentations including An Independent Insurance Adjuster’s Perspective on the State of the Industry from Peter Crosa as well as unique tools for Marketing to Property Owners and Managers from Building Science Authority. You can view the full agenda for the workshop via The DYOJO webpage and blog. Registration is available through The DYOJO Eventbrite which includes details for the early bird discounts.
This one-day workshop is a worthwhile add-on to the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium, aka Winter Break 2023. The Andrew Ask event runs Tuesday, January 24, 2023, through Wednesday, January 25th, and will include a once-in-a-lifetime Pioneers of Building Science four-person panel. This panel includes industry legends Joseph Lstiburek, Gary Nelson, Neil Moyer, and John Tooley. Early bird and block rates for rooms at the Hilton Naples are limited so interested parties are encouraged not to delay. Combined with the Lessons Learned workshop, attendees will benefit from deep wells of educational content and a broad range of networking opportunities to kick off the new year.
Pete Consigli, the Global Restoration Watchdog, and Jon Isaacson, The DYOJO, are joining forces to produce a one-day workshop offering education and networking on the topic of Lesson Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery.
Tickets are available for in-person attendees as well as online via Zoom for remote participation.
Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery
Winter Break 2023 Post-Conference Hurricane Workshop
Hilton Naples Florida: Thursday, January 26th, 2023
5111 Tamiami Trail North - Naples, Florida
Workshop Host: Jon Isaacson - thedyojo.com
Program Facilitator: G. Pete Consigli - Industry Adviser & Historian
Storm Response Workshop Speaker List
Hurricane Recovery Workshop Agenda
7:30-8:30am: Registration, Sponsor Set-up, Continental Breakfast
8:30am: Welcome, Opening Comments, Introductions
Pete Consigli, CR, Jon Isaacson, Cliff Zlotnik, CR, and Ashley Easterby
First Round Morning Sessions:
The Legal and Risk Management Panel: On Zoom from Orlando!
“The Legal Eagles: David Popper & Justin Petersen:
“The Risks and Legal Requirements to Contracting in Florida”: DPBR Licensing &
Regulations for “Storm Chasers”!
The Remediation Panel; In Person
Michael Symula, IEP (Assessment) & IAQ Josh Winton, CIE (Remediation)
“Hurricane Ian Case Studies an IEP Perspective: “What we had, what we did, what
happened and what we learned?”
“Working with IEP’s & 3rd Party Consultants: Best Practices for Secure Containment &
Clearance on PRV the FIRST Time!”
10:15-10:30am: Mid-Morning Break
Second Round Morning Sessions:
The Restoration Panel: In Person
Bob Blochinger (Flooring Consultant) & Casey Clark (Full-Service Contractor)
“Effectively Working with a 3rd Party, Roles & Goals, A Road Map to Win-Win!”
“A Restoration Contractor’s Insider Secrets: Mobilizing, Responding, Mitigating,
Recovery...AND getting Paid; after a Catastrophic Storm!”
“A Special Preview and Industry First by Kris Rzesnoski, CR: In Person”
A Ted Talk, Encircle Research Data on: “Lessons Learned from Hurricane Ian”
“Shane Bailey on Marketing to Property Owners & Managers”: In Person
“Using a Before the Storm Strategy to get a Foot in the Door: A Mechanical
Contractor’s Perspective to Documentation of the Building Envelope and Systems”
Noon to 1:00pm: Intermission: Buffett Lunch, Networking & Sponsor Demos On-site
1:05pm: Welcome Back!
First Round Afternoon Sessions:
“The Restoration Lawyer, Zooms in from Southern California!”
RIA’s Advocate Ed Cross: A National Perspective to Chasing Storms, Risks vs.
Rewards, A Do and Do Not Do Checklist to Avoid Pitfalls & Get Paid On Time!”
Moderated Interactive Q&A: The Restoration Lawyer: In person and On-line chat Log
The Science Panel: In Person
Ralph Moon, PhD, and Jeremy Beagle, CIH,” Just the Facts on Research, Being
Deposed and Dealing with Experts and Plaintiff’s Sharks!
“You Finished the Remediation Project with a Happy Client...Until you get the Call,
Houston We Have a Problem!”: A presentation of a peer reviewed IICRC Journal
article on, Mold Growth After Effective Remediation!
“A Certified Industrial Hygienist’s Perspective on: Qualifying IEP’s, Complying with
Industry Standards & Strategies for Sampling, PVR, and Project Oversight & Clearance”
Moderated Interactive Q&A: The Science Guys: In person and On-line chat log
3:15-3:35pm: Mid Afternoon Break
3:40pm: Welcome Back!
Second Round Afternoon Sessions:
The Insurance Perspective:
Peter Crosa, AIC, RPA: On Zoom from Ft Lauderdale!
” An Independent Insurance Adjuster’s Perspective: The State of the Property
Restoration Industry, Middlemen, Hitmen & Widow Brown, What is a Restorer to Do?”
Moderated Interactive Q&A: “Addressing “Hard Questions!”: live & on-line chat log
The Round-up: IAQradio+ & The DYOJO Collaborate with the In-person and On-line
attendees for an Open Forum with the In-Person Speakers.
Round-up Facilitator: Pete “Restoration Global Watchdog” Consigli
Special Guest Moderator Panel: “Radio Joe” Hughes, Cliff, “Z-man” Zlotnik, Jon
‘Intentional Restorer” Isaacson and Ashley Easterby, The Aussie from Down Under!
5:20-5:30pm: Wrap-up, Closing Comments and Adjournment; Consigli and Isaacson
Winter Break 2023 Events & Specials
EARLY BIRD DISCOUNTS:
CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS:
PLEASE NOTE this workshop follows the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium (AABSS2023), aka Winter Break 2023.
If you are planning to attend Andrew Ask, you will want to book your room at the Hilton Naples with the AABSS2023 Room Rates ASAP - After Dec 31st, the Andrew Ask conference registration fee goes up $100 and the room block rate will go up per market price and availability
Disaster Response Workshop Sponsors
Thank you to our SPONSORS, reach out to The DYOJO if you are interested in sponsorship:
Lessons Learned Workshop Media Partners
If someone were to call themselves an industry expert, what would your expectation be of their like credentials and experience?
What are you stupid?
But yeah, no. We definitely need to get the education up
The DYOJO Podcast.
There it is. opening salvo. What does it mean to be an expert, an industry expert. And we're live live. Here we are a free podcast, on a free platform, offering ideas for free to those who dare to listen.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you publicly.
If you're watching screen left is The Restoration Lawyer Ed Cross, screen right is Jeff Cross of Cleanfax Magazine. Apparently no relation. Same last name as me but we are not related. As far as we know. This video is The Cost of Doing Business Exclusion Claim by Insurance Adjusters is Fake News. It drops truth. This is Take Five from the ISSA Media YouTube page, definitely check that out.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you publicly for making a valiant effort to try to get Jon Isaacson to engage in a serious interview.
It's a tough thing to do. I don't know. But we're trying.
Keep trying and eventually you'll wear him down.
That Jon Isaacson that's a whole another topic.
I think by now if you've listened to more than one show, hopefully we've gotten a little bit better over time. Yeah, one of the biggest issues early on, was I was interjecting clips, but didn't have a lot of audio control. And even until not that recently, not a lot of great expertise. Oh, that ties into our topic.
If someone were to call themselves an industry expert, what would your expectation be?
Not a lot of great expertise as I was working out this experiment which delivers content for free, free, free to listeners who ingest and consume it for free. Just by way of reminder and a season of thankfulness. If you're thankful for a podcast, be it our podcast or an industry podcast or any other podcast. One of the best ways you can help people, especially those who are doing it for for free, is to subscribe, like, and rate it. It helps. So the robots think people are listening. Leaving a review can be helpful as well.
So I'm gonna read one such review. Solid content funny, but so far, I'm loving the content slash information in the casual conversational approach. But. But, chill out on the soundbite addons. It's funny, until it happens over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. And like you're unraveling a big cable knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting over and over and over and makes it super frustrating to keep pace with the content. The introduction length is nauseatingly long and overdone. Fix that don't ditch it, just chill out a bit. Keep the humor and the conversation approach five stars.
They actually gave it three stars justify implemented their constructive input, then, then it would be five stars. So thank you, HFCFFHJJKFX. Thank you for being so brave.
Being the best loser takes talent just as being the best winner does. It's true.
It's kind of hard to read this as anything other than if you're like other podcasts, I might listen to it as much as I listen to them.
As a contractor, do you ever ask yourself? What are we doing here Harry? Enter an audio visual experience like no other. The DYOJO Podcast, we are helping contractors shorten their dang learning curve.
This discussion about expertise included IAQ Josh. Yes. Let's pick up the conversation. As a representative, Pete called out the mold assessors and remediators for not going to things Josh, what do you have to say about that?
I mean, I think the latest review that I did on an assessment report live on YouTube. If you didn't catch it, you should over at Youtube.com/IAQJosh. However, I think that speaks volume on the lack of education.
What are you stupid?
Literally that's what it is. You know. I came up with people like Howard Newmark around me that is just a super analytical dude, and does things like very methodically. And then I've been exposed to even more individuals like that and more in the building science world. But getting back to what you said unfortunately, there's just either a lack of care, or a lack of care is kind of what it just seems to be because the education is there. I mean, what I'm doing on YouTube and what you're doing and I think you wrote a book or two or, but ya know, we definitely needed to get the education up. People just need to be exposed to it. I mean, at the end of the day, again, we can lead the horse to water if they come and they choose to leave that class and not better themselves. That's on them. But at the end of the day, at least, you know, expose yourself to that.
There you go. There's the advice from IAQ Josh, everyone expose yourself.
You haven't gotten a whole lot of flack on your last video calling out crappy reports?
Not at all. I was actually surprised.
It's weird when sometimes I've got something that I think might be a little incendiary. And then you put it out and then everyone is like, oh, makes sense.
Did you watch anything on the one I did on the contractor down in Texas that's getting sued.
I caught bits and pieces. It seemed like there were two sides to it. And you were trying to do your best from the just that I saw to cover both sides of it.
Flawless execution of an awkward segue linking us back to a prior episode.
You're diving into a case that's RJ Construction versus Arlington Independent School District.
An Arlington construction company says it worked around the clock last February to clean up a flooded school. Months later it says it has yet to be paid.
Michelle Blevins, C&R Magazine, thank you for asking that question. RJC thinks they're owed over 1.2 million. The school district paid like 187,000. A check that was never cashed. And said there's more if you provide the documentation, we need to justify it.
The AISD says they would pay more, but they need more documentation. And it appears they asked for that early on. So it's not like they just did it at the end. But obviously a much more detailed list from the insurance company. But I think I told you, I'm gonna probably incorporate some of your moisture mapping video.
In order to know if you are actually drying, you need to know what your environmental conditions are, you need to know what your moisture concentration levels are. These are things that we monitored daily.
This is a clip of a video from IAQ Josh's YouTube page Moisture Mapping for Restoration Contractors 101.
These are things that the insurance adjuster is going to want you to provide at the end, if you want to get paid. So do yourself, your due diligence and make sure that you've got some level of competence documentation could be something like this could be pen and paper, quite frankly, I don't care how it's done. I just want to see the industry evolve. And this trade gets better and better and better. And ultimately, of course being taken more seriously in some regards.
One of the news clips reports the school district is asking for documentation that RJC doesn't says doesn't exist. It's like, uh-oh.
This is a podcast about shortening your dang learning curve. That's taking in information from multiple sources. So on this podcast, we've got some of the younger restorers, Josh Winton and myself. We've got Bob Blochinger and Pete Consigli.
So we're going to have a conversation about what it means to develop into the expert level. To pursue that and to have that hunger as an industry professional. We also discuss an upcoming event that will provide some additional exposure to training that will kickoff 2023.
Hi, everybody out there in DYOJO nation.
Infotainment. We will entertain you whilst we also inform you.
What you're doing is terrific every day. People should be listening to you.
The DYOJO Podcast.
What does it take to become an industry expert?
I call it a pyramid of training, education and experience. You cannot become an expert without all three.
Say it again.
Training, experience and education.
If you're new in this industry or you're working hard to accelerate your development you may notice there are a lot of industry events. We obviously want to make you aware of one that we're directly involved with, as are the other people in this particular podcast.
I'm a big guy for education, I usually go to maybe two or three events a year.
Okay, so this is the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium 2023 (aka Winter Break). This is the climate zone one - climatezoneone.com. That's the the site for there on the homepage and a website. We have a link for registration, I think we have a link for the hotel for the room. And then we have a link that can take you through all the presentations and scheduling, and the bios on all the speakers. Everything that you need is on the website, one simple click.
So Tuesday, Wednesday is the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium. And then Thursdays, Pete is putting a workshop together. I think The DYOJO is now the official, quote unquote, sponsor or promoter, so no one will come.
Tuesday, Wednesday, there it is, Andrew Ask, okay.
And then whatever you agreed to do with Pete is on Thursday,
Come here and have a lot of fun and gain some education. It's gonna be a very multidisciplinary audience. January 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th. In today's world, it's scientific. Great networking, great content, the Andrew Ask Building Science Symposium aka the 2023 Winter Break in Naples, Florida. We don't have winter here, we have summer. Remember what they say baby, Be there, or be square.
The website is climatezoneone.com and they're packed like seven o'clock till 530 is education time and some good networking. We're having full breakfast and the lunch and all that packed in goo. We'll have good breaks in the morning and afternoon. Climate Zone One is the whole the hot humid southern south of the country. I think the country is broken into five climate zones.
We're planning on doing a younger guns get together on Monday, January 23, 2023 in Naples, Florida. We're framing that like Pete Consigli and Cliff Zlotnik as the Watchdogs Neighborhood. We're trying to put an event together where we bring the newer restorers in with older, not older but more experienced restorers. It's a Watchdog Neighborhood or we may call it the Moisture Mob Neighborhood. The consigliere and Clilff Zlotnik and friends. We're doing a cardigan dress code. The abbreviated title is The Cardigan Party, because we're going with the Mr. Rogers Neighborhood vibe. Then maybe at other industry events like RIA we can crash with the cardigans.
The audience at the dojo and you guys are the younger the next upcoming generations. What that really is about is the veterans and the old timers who have been around, pass the baton to the next generation. If they want to be mentored, sharing information, just being a resource for them. If the horse doesn't want to come to the water, like Josh said, we'll have good water for them to drink if they don't want to come there and they don't want to drink.
We want to give a huge shout out to the sponsors of The DYOJO Podcast. Those organizations also committed to helping you shorten your dang learning curve.
First off is the Institute of inspection, cleaning and restoration certification. You know them industry wide as the IICRC. You want full access to all IICRC standards from any device at any time, and in any place. Get a standard subscription for about 50 cents a day. Visit iicrc.org today.
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Anybody who calls himself an expert, like isn't an expert. The second you say, I am an expert. Well, now I don't trust anything you say.
Bob, Robert. Bob, right?
It's Bob, when we're talking. It's Robert, when you send me a check.
We're just talking Bob, the difference between like an influencer, an industry leader and an industry expert. If someone were to call themselves an industry expert, what would your expectation be of their credentials and experience be?
Expert is somebody who knows what he's talking about through experience, training and education. I call it a pyramid of training, education and experience. You cannot become an expert without all three.
I agree with the general consensus going around that to be an expert, you have to know every single thing about every element of everything within that field. An individual that's kind of sought after for the expertise.
Whatever questions, or problems or whatever exists that needs explanation or evaluation. The expert needs to know what he's saying and how to explain it so that a regular person can understand. For instance, when you sit in a court on the witness stand and you get grilled by the opposing attorney, you do not have notes in front of you. You do not have a book. You do not have photographs. You have to answer questions in a manner that you come across intelligent. That you understand. We call these competent witnesses subject matter experts. They have to pass the Daubert Challenge.
According to the Federal Rules of Evidence 702, a witness who was qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education.
This is a YouTube video from Forensics Group talking about the Daubert Rule. This rule addresses the knowledge, skill, training, and education of an relevant witness. I like how Bob puts it, "Education, training and experience." Experiences are often one of those key factors that ties all of it together.
May testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise, if the experts scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue.
I find this interesting. I'm thankful that Bob brought it up. This is a great metric as it's used in court to determine whether an expert witness and what they have to share is relevant and reliable. A good question to ask, is whether the information that you're receiving from industry leaders, influencers and experts, (a) is it relevant to the task at hand and (b) does it rest on a reliable foundation?
That testimony is based on sufficient facts or data. That the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods.
This affirms we want to apply a scientific method or methodology to the processing of information to determining whether it's reliable. The scientific methodology helps us determine:
Does it eliminate confirmation bias? Just because we hypothesize this did we then only present the information that supported our hypothesis rather than actually being open to our hypothesis being wrong?
The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
The expert has reliably applied the principles and methods of the facts of the case. My mind typically shifts when I'm reading industry publications like C&R magazine or Cleanfax Magazine, towards listening for those people who have been there done that. Those who have assessed a problem, discussed it with their team, and said this is a creative solution that has worked for us.
That something works now for a shameless plug. Last week reminded everybody of our article in C&R Magazine - The 4 Modes of Profitability for Contractors. There's an article in the latest edition of Cleanfax Magazine - Goals, Effort and Results: Developing Excellence in Your Team. This article does attempt to apply a scientific method to how we communicate and encourage our teams.
The Daubert Standard is the law in federal court and over half of the states.
You need to know what you're talking about to be labeled as an expert. And, you know, comically people say, Well, I'm from 50 miles away, so I must be an expert. It doesn't work that way. You don't become an expert without years of training, experience and education.
When you're looking for experts is the first place place you look is people that post a lot on Facebook. No. No, you too. It's YouTubers. Those are modern day experts.
I had a college that had issues with the carpet installation, and I go there, I was hired by the product manufacturer. And the first thing I asked the installer is, what kind of experience you have in putting down this product? Well, it was especially product with a special installation system that everybody just doesn't know about. So his first comment was Why watch two movies on YouTube? Oh, no. That was a $50,000 hit to the installation company, because they let an amateur put it in.
Youtube is good to watch as a reference. It doesn't make you an expert.
You have to have certain talent when you're doing trade work. You got to have the talent and the mindset and the patience to do it correctly. We call it a redo; it's a skill. You got to be able to able to fix it so that you can't tell you fixed it. And you got to be able to afford the screw up.
I always tell guys to read the label. Read the label. Read the label.
It's funny you say that. I mean, that was my big takeaway from your last year we had the Winter Break 2022, The Mold Winter Break. The summary was exactly that. If you're putting this floor in, read the damn label. And make sure you're using the glue that's designed for that floor and you're doing the prep the way the instructions say. Would you say a significant portion of the flooring failures could be avoided by just doing those two things?
Absolutely. Some of these guys don't even don't even know there's about a half a dozen different types of tack strip to be used. And each one has a specific purpose.
Josh, are you aware that prior to the internet, they used to write books? If you didn't know how to do something you might get this Complete Do-it-yourself guide from Reader's Digest. I'm sure whenever you're going to court you always refer first to Reader's Digest Complete Do It Yourself manual, right? That's the first place to start.
It made me think you know, YouTube is a lot easier if I'm not very skilled at working on my vehicle. But that's where I go to try to get an idea but exactly what you're saying that doesn't make you an expert, it just as a starting point.
Before YouTube, it was hands on with a slap to the back of your head. What are you stupid? Things of that nature. And that's how we how I learned from my generation.
We are excited to announce that our best-selling book How To Suck Less At Estimating: Habits For Better Project Outcomes by Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is now available as a course. This book is full color with diagrams and it's a lot more technical than the prior estimating book Be Intentional: Estimating. Which pairs well with the project management book. This book, How to Suck Less at Estimating is also a course available online through our friends at Restoration Technical Institute. We just heard from them that the first person actually purchased the course. So we're looking forward to getting feedback from that. This course has six modules which reflect the six chapters in this book. If you sign up for the course you get a free PDF copy that is designed to to correspond with the course.
So in order in order to to talk about where we're at and how we got here, I have to take a step backwards and give a little bit of background. I won't take very long take very long.
Contrary to his promise, it did take pretty long.
You may have noticed, as of late, the podcast has been condensed into 24 minute episodes. That's been on purpose. It's allowed me or forced me to try to be more concise and getting the information out. This particular episode is universal in the sense of talking about what it takes to become an expert and Bob and Josh and Pete share some good insights. And I believe in Daubert, we've kind of shared a scientific method for trying to determine that for yourself. But the timely element of this is an event that's happening in January of 2023. Three events:
So Monday night, assuming people are coming in getting situated traveling, we're gonna have a unique event from The DYOJO and Pete Consigli. On Monday the 23rd we have a meet and greet at the Boston Beer Garden which is going to be fabulous. Cliff Zlotnik is going to be there.
This year, has a one time panel that will never happen again called The Pioneer Panel of Building Science. This is Dr. Joe Lstiburek, John Tooley, Neil Moyer, and Gary Nelson. These are four individual guys who are in their own rights are are giants in the area. This is historical, probably one of a kind, likely never to be repeated portion of that event.
So these guys all in their own right to different aspects and they are the Pioneer panel. So that's the Tuesday and Wednesday the 24th and 25th.
The other thing that's going to be under the DYOJO brand is going to be a special post conference workshop on Thursday, the 26th. Cliff Zlotnik, the Z Man, is going to be there, one of the two OG's. He's going to help with the moderating.
This is going to be Lessons Learned from Storm Response and Hurricane Recovery. It's a one-day workshop with various speakers. We're gonna have a hurricane panel workshop that's gonna focus on response and recovery from a catastrophic storm. We are going to offer this workshop in-person osite for those that stick around following the building symposium. There will be a zoom option as well. Keep posted via the DYOJO website and The DYOJO Podcast for more information.
So this extended version of the podcast is more of the information as we're continuing to continuing to develop both for Andrew Ask and our storm response workshop.
What are the lessons learned from storm response and hurricane recovery. So the speaker lineup is going to be pretty awesome.
To me this is the most important thing, that you get a variety of perspectives, you address the particular point of the issue and challenge, and then you you allow the audience to have an interactive questions of things that are general interest to them. Anyone involved with assessing, inspecting, coming up with solutions, dealing with insurance claims, dealing with specialty outside vendors, and how do you interpret the science and a practitioners viewpoint? Attendees will get good education. If you have that it brings people in and then if you put the venue's either through the main events or off site people get together in the conversations in the bars, the restaurants, the things that they do, that's what really is the real value to help grow and develop their business. Develop relationships and do business in the future and I think a lot of that will exist.
Jon Isaacson's best-selling book How To Suck Less At Estimating: Habits For Better Project Outcomes has been adapted into an internet course that is now available through Restoration Technical Institute.
Jon Isaacson hit the nail right on the head again with this one. So many tips for both "seasoned" and new estimating professionals. I thoroughly enjoy the fact that in all his books I find myself totally relating to his scenarios. Keep it up Jon! I cannot wait to see what books are to come.” - Lisa Atkins, reviewing the book
Construction Estimating Course
Features of the How To Suck Less At Estimating course:
Unlike any course you have ever taken before. If you like to be overstimulated, to learn, and estimating, this is the course for you! Jon Isaacson delivers practical knowledge and demonstrations in his signature "INFOtainment" style." - RTI course description
Insurance Claims Estimating Course
How to Suck Less At Estimating by Jon Isaacson
Description: Interactive eLearning Course
Duration: 6 Hours
The Six Modules of Habits For Better Project Outcomes:
LEARN MORE and register for this course at Restoration Technical Institute
Have you ever lost a million dollars for a lack of water damage mitigation moisture readings?
On The DYOJO Podcast Episode 92 & 93 we have been discussing a Texas contractor who is suing a local school district for underpayment of services rendered during Winter Storm Uri in 2021. The contractor valued their water damage dehumidification services at over $1.2 million dollars, the school district and their insurance company made an initial payment of less than $200,000. The customer stated that more would be paid if additional drying documentation was provided by the contractor.
According to statements given to a local news station, the contractor says that this water damage mitigation daily documentation doesn't exist.
The video below briefly introduces a commentary that friend of The DYOJO Podcast, Josh "IAQ Josh" Winton produced reviewing the essential elements of daily moisture mapping and documentation for a water damage event.
Additional resources on this and related topics:
The DYOJO Podcast - helping contractors shorten their DANG learning curve.
Thursdays are for The DYOJO Podcast.
The DYOJO - helping contractors shorten