Dear David

Every industry needs knowledgeable professionals. C&R Magazine’s commitment to keeping professionals informed inspired the monthly column “Dear David.”  This will provide C&R subscribers with knowledge in an area that touches almost every aspect of the work they do–Insurance.

ChatGPT: No Respect for Restoration Contractors, but Plenty for Customer Service

Dear David is a little different this month.  It seems one cannot pick up any form of media and not hear about artificial intelligence.  So, I thought I would see how intelligent ChatGPT is about the restoration industry.  Below is the word for word response to the request to write a 600-word paper, in the style of Rodney Dangerfield, about how ChatGTP will help restoration contractors service their customers better. Do you agree with the response? Tell me what you think by emailing; subject: No Respect. Introduction: Hey, folks! I gotta tell ya,

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Dear David: Can You Share Liability Insurance Advice for Smaller Companies?

Dear David, I am a smaller general contractor, what advice do you have for us smaller companies about liability insurance?  Dear Size Does Not Matter, Bill Wilson says it best in “When Words Collide,” 1) Read the Full Policy (RTFP). This is the advice no matter the size of the contractor. We recently had the pleasure of reviewing two smaller general contractor’s insurance programs. Each program written by a different agent. Each program is placed with a different insurance company. The surprises inside are the same things we find on the larger contractors.  General

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Dear David: Does an Engineer Need to Consider All the Evidence Available?

Dear David, Does an engineer need to consider all the evidence available? Whether it’s storm damage, water damage, or even fires we are seeing more engineers being engaged by insurance companies.  Often these visits are brief, and they result in the policyholder receiving a denial letter.  Dear Engineered Denial, According to my favorite search engine, Professional Engineers are licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That being true, licensing brings with it regulations and a standard of professional conduct. Wisconsin’s Administrative Code Chapter A-E 8 spells out Professional Conduct for Architects,

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Dear David: Do Insurance Companies Cover Damages Anymore?

Dear David, Do insurance companies cover damages anymore? It seems like almost every situation is met with some type of resistance. Scope, price, material costs, replacement cost, actual cash value, cause of loss, water damage, and even fire issues with smoke to name a few. Between program work, the supply chain issues, labor shortages, and demand brought on by recent weather events it feels like we must fight on every front.  Dear Covered Damages, The appetite for resistance to claims does seem to have evolved. A change to the notion of “business as usual”

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Dear David: Should I Buy Insurance From An Independent Broker or On An App?

Dear David,  I buy insurance from an independent broker. Recently, however, I have seen colleagues buy insurance directly from insurers on an app. Which do you recommend? Dear Shopping,  Direct-buy insurance, which is purchased without using a broker, can be quick, convenient, and competitively priced. However, there are significant advantages to buying insurance through an independent broker.  First, buying the right policy is difficult unless you understand all of your risks, coverages, limits, gaps, and exclusions. To illustrate the point, consider the people encountered who have a water back-up endorsement vs those who do

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Dear David: My Temp Worker Got Hurt – Now What?

Dear David, Finding good employees is tough. We use different ways to meet our labor needs. Sometimes we borrow and other times we use a temp-agency. Negotiating these agreements makes me wonder–How should an injury to their worker be addressed in our insurance?  Dear “Employee,”  The insurance coverage depends on how the parties want bodily injury liability issues to flow through the relationship. The agreement will be one of the first documents an adjuster will request following an incident. Two primary fundamentals to understand. First, the injured worker in the pursuit of your business

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Dear David: I’m Confused about General Liability and Additional Insured Coverage

Dear David, Liability insurance is expensive. I am required in contracts to carry a Commercial General Liability (“CGL”) policy.  The contracts typically require the owners of the projects to be named as additional insureds and that the owners be indemnified, held harmless, and defended. My broker tells me I have an endorsement that generically addresses the additional insured. He also tells me to resist the language for indemnification, hold harmless, and defend. When I do, I lose the contracts. How can the latter part be insured in a CGL policy? Dear Value Shopper, Lots

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Dear David: The Adjuster is Making Me Frustrated! What Can I Do?

Dear David, Talking to the adjuster has been frustrating! I am a contractor but also the policyholder.  My house suffered water damages and I feel like this adjuster has been playing games with me. I told them stop or I would get an attorney.  The adjuster told me to have my lawyer contact them and then hung up the phone.  What happened and what could I do differently?  Dear Frustrated, Suffering a loss is difficult.  It is an emotional experience that taxes a person beyond their comfort. Unlike most policyholders you likely have an

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Dear David: What is Subrogation?

Dear David, As a restoration contractor, I strive to give my customers excellent service. I receive satisfaction by putting my customers’ property and their lives back to normal. I usually work with my customer and their insurance adjustor. Recently, however, a “subrogation representative” from my customer’s insurer called asking for information. What is subrogation, and what are my responsibilities?   Dear Satisfied, In principle, subrogation is pretty straightforward. Once an insurer pays its policyholder’s claim, the insurer stands in place of the policyholder and retains the right to recover from responsible third parties. The

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Dear David: The Public Adjuster has Gone Rogue

Dear David, Our public adjuster has gone rogue. He is not listening to our needs and a restoration contractor they recommended has said they ethically cannot say what the public adjuster wants. The public adjuster is asking them to say the mold cleaning is larger in scope and price. The public adjuster wants us to sign a proof of loss that we know is not accurate. What can we do? Dear Accomplice to Fraud, Fraud is strong term, but it seems like it could fit your situation.  When a policyholder signs a proof of

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