Insurance & Legal Matters

Experts on insurance and legal matters in the restoration and remediation industries offer advice and guidance for legal issues facing your company, and liability insurance questions you may have.

Lien It Or Lose It! Strongest Collection Tool In A Contractor’s Toolbox

Introduction to Construction Liens Did you know that Construction Lien laws have been in place since 1791? Thomas Jefferson established the Construction Lien Law to facilitate the construction of Washington, D.C. (located in Maryland at that time). For more than 230 years, these laws have been safeguarding contractors and their rights. The law is on your side, and it’s essential to understand and leverage your legal rights to ensure you receive proper payment. Construction liens, also referred to as mechanic’s liens or materialman’s liens, serve as powerful legal instruments designed to protect the rights

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The ABCs of Casualty Claims for HOAs

As of 2022, the Foundation for Community Association Research estimates that 74.2 million Americans, or roughly 28% of the U.S. population, now live in some sort of a homeowners association. They are everywhere, from urban vertical residential towers and mixed-use condominiums, to sprawling planned communities in suburbia.  Restoration companies work at a frenetic pace, often times under intense deadlines and pressure situations to preserve property. Many companies use different contracts for different types of work, for example, mitigation versus reconstruction work. Estimates are generated based on sophisticated software and created early in the process

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I Haven’t Found a Handbook Yet that Prepared Me for Business Ownership

It’s been a few, well, decades since my college years, but as I look back, I don’t ever recall anyone offering a class on what it means to be a business owner. Sure, I took all of the business finance classes, a marketing course or two, and many business classes with textbook answers. Most of those courses taught me how to work in someone else’s business. The path less traveled to business ownership is filled with highs and lows. It’s a space where what you do every day affects the livelihoods of others and

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Restoration M&A is Important to Your Business Long Before Any Sale

Chances are, you’re a small business owner like me. You’re building this business that has (hopefully) seen some really great successes as well as a challenge or two. In business ownership, you’re in the trenches. You’re making the important decisions that impact the bottom line and the lives of others. You’re in the present most of the time and looking ahead means looking to the next quarter, next project, next expansion. There’s another side to business ownership, and it’s one I spend most of my time in. Healthy businesses are watching what’s happening in

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Let the Structure Speak

We hear in insurance claim disputes that contractors and carriers should keep in mind who their client is. The inference being that they should hold the interest of the policyholder over all else. While this is true in a contractual sense, it isn’t the defining precedent when it comes to damage assessment, scope creation, or claims negotiation.  As the details of the project are being uncovered, all parties should be mindful in allowing the structure to speak for itself. When the structure speaks, it’s motives are pure When we think about motives, we have

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Navigating the Restoration Industry’s M&A Landscape in 2024

As we look at the restoration market today, the view is much different than it was only a year again. As we move into 2024, the fluid, changing dynamics of both Main Street and M&A transactions in our industry are a mixed bag of pleasant surprises and predicted challenges. Now is the time to take note and make important changes as you prepare to bring your business to market in the next year.  Interest rates have increased, which directly affects SBA purchases. Buyers are re-emerging and banks continue lending in the Main Street marketplace.

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Mirror, Mirror On the Wall Part 2

Read part 1 of this series by Tim Hull HERE The same day our insurance carrier rendered their official liability opinion regarding my wife’s auto accident, I had a very pointed discussion with my agent. I let him know that I was not pleased with the way the claim was being handled and that we would be challenging their decision. To my surprise, he was very stoic about the issue, even letting me know that we had accident forgiveness on our policy and that it would not be held against me for future premiums

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2024 Restoration Trends Predictions

Years ago, my father would talk about an article he read about the speed of business change.  This article used an analogy of change to the flow of water. This change used to be like a small steam that eddied and occasionally pooled before flowing on. Over the years, this stream became a river full of rapids and unrelenting water as it rushed by. If you are a swimmer or a boater, you used to be able to relax in a small pool or in calm water before you hit a set of rapids

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How Would Outsourcing Affect My Long-term Value?

Q: I’m considering outsourcing a couple services, how would this affect my long-term value?   JT says: First, business value is driven primarily by your Adjusted EBITDA (total financial benefit).  Thus, if outsourcing delivers the following, value increases:   Greater Efficiencies Lower Costs Same or Better Quality Second, this demanding industry often necessitates owners wearing many hats- all at once.  However, just because an owner can do something, doesn’t mean they should.  Outsourcing possibilities include- Estimating, Recruiting, HR, Answering Service, Accounts Receivable, Online Marketing and Social Media.  Many vendors can prove higher quality at

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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Read part 2 of this series by Tim Hull HERE My wife called me crying in anger. She was traveling to Penn State with my oldest daughter for a campus visit when someone backed into her brand-new vehicle at a gas station. No one was injured and the damage was minor, but christening a new ride with less than a few thousand miles on it is never a great way to start a week. Fortunately, the other driver apologized profusely, exchanged information, and even had the same insurance carrier as us. This could be

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