2019, thus far – Our Most Interesting Claims

The owner of a condominium building suffered damage to an expensive copper and slate tile roof and filed an insurance claim. The adjuster inspected the damage and determined that there was no damage associated with the storm. He decided to add weight to his denial of the claim by paying an engineer to inspect the roof and agree with him, which the engineer dutifully complied. The owner’s contractor recommended that he contact me to see if I could assist him. After a very close review of the engineer’s written report, I found language in it that supported the owner’s claim and in a matter of a few weeks, we negotiated a payment of over $21,000.00 to repair his roof.

The owner of a dwelling that was over 125 years old and located in a historical district suffered hail damage to a very unique roofing system made from materials that have not been manufactured since 1945. Using an engineering report that they had acquired from a young man who had graduated engineering school eighteen months prior to this inspection, his insurance company offered the owner a small amount of money to make insufficient repairs that were not consistent with the design of the roof or with the ordinances enforced within the historical district. After several months of fruitless debate with his insurance company and with the recommendation of his roofing contractor, he contacted me. I negotiated a payment with his insurance company for over $236,000.00.

The owner of a commercial building that had suffered serious damage from wind and hail filed a claim with his out of state insurance company, in Florida. Although the roof was damaged to the point that it was leaking water into the businesses below, his insurance company hired an engineer to agree with their decision to deny the claim, refused to pay him and did not answer his inquiries for over six months. He contacted me for assistance. After three months of negotiations and using nothing more than the language contained in the engineering report that the insurance company had used to deny the claim, the insurance company finally agreed to pay over $682,000.00 for the replacement of the destroyed roof.

Computer Generated Estimates from Insurance Adjusters – Can You Really Expect Them To Be Fair?

It may come as a surprise that the overwhelming majority of insurance adjusters, no matter which insurance company they work for, use the same computer software to generate estimates from which they pay insurance claims.  The corporation that owns and manages the software that creates the computer-generated estimate that your adjuster is using to pay your claim is called Verisk Analytics, Inc.

When you visit this page of the website for Verisk Analytics, Inc. you will see something very interesting about its managers and Board of Directors.  Most of them, including the director that bears the title of “Lead Director” are from the insurance industry and/or have professional backgrounds in the very closely associated financial investment industry.  Very few, if any, have backgrounds or practical experience in the industries or trades associated with performing the restoration work or providing the materials that are represented in these computer-generated estimates.

This could lead a reasonable person to question whether the computer-generated estimate provided by the insurance adjuster represents the financial interests of the insurance industry managing and producing it … or the interests of the policyholder who is presumably expected to have enough money to fully restore his property from the amount estimated by the software program.

Prudent policyholders, however, will carefully read their policies and discover that their payments from their insurance companies are to be based upon the actual … and not the “estimated” … cost of restoration.  They will know that they are not limited to receive only the insurance adjuster’s home-grown estimate generated by his own industry’s managed computer software program but are entitled, instead, to the amounts that it will actually cost to replace or restore the property that is destroyed or damaged.

If they don’t know this and settle for what the computer generated estimate guesses that their payment should be, they are likely to be underpaid for their loss.

Hail Storm vs. Hail Damage

I recently received a telephone call from a roofing contractor who asked me for advice concerning a customer that he has been trying to assist who had digitally recorded a hailstorm at the insured dwelling during the hail event and who had photographed and measured the hailstones immediately afterward.

The insurance carrier was insisting that there was no damage to the roof from hail and, on the policyholder’s behalf, the roofing contractor was insisting to the insurance company’s adjuster that the video was proof of hail damage and that the insurance company should pay to replace the entire roof, but to no avail.  He wanted me to arrange to represent the policyholder in an “appraisal” process … a procedure under the insurance policy where differences of opinion regarding the amount of damage can be settled without litigation.

The first thing I explained to the contractor was that the insurance company’s total denial of the claim due to the lack of apparent hail damage is a coverage issue, and the “appraisal” process cannot be used to determine coverage issues.  It is only available to use when both sides agree to the existence of covered damage but do not agree on the amount of that damage and its associated costs.

The second point, one that he did not agree with me on, was that simply the evidence of a hailstorm (in the form of a digital recording and photographs of hailstones) is not evidence of hail damage to the insured property.  He tried to assure me that, based upon his many years in the roofing business he is certain that proof of a hail storm with hailstones measuring one-inch or more should be sufficient to convince an insurance company to replace an entire roof; however, I pointed out to him that if this were true he would not be calling me for assistance.

This leads to my third point which is, in the State of Missouri, exterior contractors are specifically forbidden from representing policyholders with their insurance claims.  In this case, it could have very well been his obvious conflict of interest that nullified his arguments regarding the existence of damage, since he would be enriched from the repair that he was recommending to the insurance adjuster from damage that was not readily visible to them.

Should your home be struck by hail, it is advisable for you to take the step to have your roof carefully inspected by a professional, such as a reputable roofing contractor, to determine if it has been damaged by that hail.  Some insurance policies will exclude dents to soft metals (flashing, gutters, downspouts, etc) that are not perforated and leaking, so it is best to compare the damage that is reported to you by the professional inspecting your roof to your insurance policy.   Also, it is advisable to ask the professional inspecting your roof to photograph for you the damage that he has found and to describe all of it to you so that you can accurately report it to your insurance company.

After determining the actual presence and amount of damage, and reading what you can understand about your insurance coverage in your policy, consider whether or not it would be in your financial interest to file a claim.  If you file your claim, you (not your contractor) should be prepared to explain and prove your loss to your insurance company.  While it is acceptable to have your roofing contractor share his observations with your insurance company adjuster and to point out the damage to the roof at the time it is inspected, your contractor is not licensed or qualified to debate with or represent you in discussions with your insurance company regarding your claim.  You must do that yourself or through someone licensed to represent you.

If the insurance company agrees that there is hail damage to your roof but does not agree on the amount of the damage, ask your contractor to provide you with a bid (not an “estimate”) to do the necessary roof repair or replacement.  The insurance company can agree to pay that bid or, if they do not, should be asked to provide a bid of their own from a contractor of their choosing … rather than to “estimate” the damage on their computer software program.  Your payment should be based on the cost to restore your home to its pre-storm condition … not an “estimated” cost to restore your home.

If this process appears complicated, confusing, or as something you would not prefer to do on your own, you should seek the advice of a licensed public adjuster or attorney.  If you are in Missouri you can call me during normal business hours and I will try to assist you.  There is no charge for the call.

 

2018 – Our Most Interesting Claims

The more interesting claims of this year result from roof damage, it seems.

Hail damaged a very expensive tile and copper roof and my client’s insurance company inspected the damage and hired an engineer to report on the damage.  The engineer reported the hail damage … but added his own opinion that, since the damage could not be seen from the ground, “it wasn’t really damage” — and the insurance company denied payment on the claim.  After several years of fruitlessly challenging this denial, my client’s roofing contractor suggested that he hire me to assist him.  After several months of my communications and negotiations with the insurance company, they finally agreed to pay my client over $232,000.00 to restore her roof to its condition prior to the hail storm.

Another expensive roof (slate and copper) was damaged by hail and the insurance company provided my client with a computer-generated estimate to repair the damage for a little over $4,800, but no roofing contractor could be found who was willing to restore the roof for that amount of money.  She hired me to assist her and, after several months of communication and negotiation, the insurance company agreed to pay her over $66,000.00 to restore her roof to its condition prior to the storm.

A clay tile and copper roof in St. Louis was damaged by hail and the insurance company’s adjuster determined that it was “insignificant” and would cost less to repair than the deductible.  After an additional inspection and several weeks of negotiations regarding the actual scope of the work required to affect the repair, the insurance company agreed that the damage was significant and issued payment for more than $17,000.00.

A St. Louis homeowner accepted her insurance company’s settlement of $9,000 for damage to her roof and spent over two years trying to find a contractor who was willing to make the necessary repair for that amount of money as water continued to enter her home.  In September, a roofing contractor referred her to me for assistance.  I reopened her claim and, by the end of October, her insurance company agreed to pay her an additional $40,000.00 to restore her roof to its condition prior to the storm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is Your Home Inspector Sharing Information About You and Your Home to Your Insurance Company? Possibly.

If you are in the market for a house, you might consider hiring a home inspector to look over and report to you the condition of the home you are intending to buy.

His home inspection report is likely to be published on a computer software program that he owns or leases that provides him with the means to record his observations and provide you with the information in a convenient format.  This report is useful in determining whether or not to purchase the home and it also provides you with information that can be useful in negotiating a better price or improvements to defects before purchase … but who else is getting this information about your home, the names of its occupants, and their contact information?  Who controls where this information is distributed and how are some of the ways that this information can be used?

At least one home insurance company, through its holding company, has purchased a home inspection reporting software program that is leased to home inspectors all over the country for their use in recording information about homebuyers and their properties.  The inspectors using this software are required to add language to their contracts allowing this information to be stored and accessed by unnamed entities for unspecified purposes.

The insurance company that owns this software program that compiles this data about the homes that are being inspected also includes certain exclusions in their home insurance policies that allow them to deny coverage for certain conditions that can be described in these reports … after a claim has been filed.

For example, a home inspector using this particular software might record that he observed minor hail strikes on a certain section of the roof that, upon a later and closer examination, was found to be minor and of no concern to you.  A year after you move in, a hailstorm of significant force could cause heavy damage to your roof and when you file an insurance claim to recover for this damage, the insurer could have access to information of the previous damage upon which they could incorrectly base a full or partial denial of coverage.

Who else is getting access to this information about your home and its occupants? Are local contractors and their employees learning the names and contact information for new homeowners as well as (1) the location and type of installed alarm systems, (2) the type and quality of installed appliances, (3) photographs of the home containing points of entry, landscaping, and accessibility?

Will this information be sold and resold to various telemarketing/robocall companies to offer you “upgrades” to your current home systems?  Will they be able to misrepresent themselves as “consultants” or vendors for systems that were reported to be in your home?  Will solicitors with your name and address be able to call upon you in person?

Before hiring a home inspector – and while checking on his qualifications and background – consider ALSO determining exactly who (other than you) will be receiving information about you and your dwelling.

Will anyone other than you or your real estate agent be able to access the inspection report?  Does the home inspector offer special “add-on” services provided by third parties who will have access to your private information in exchange for providing him with the additional services he offers?

Insist on obtaining something in writing from the home inspector that his software program is owned completely by him and not accessible by any third parties.  Further, consider obtaining a written assurance that no information about your new home and/or its occupants will be provided to any third party under any circumstances.   If the inspector you are interviewing cannot provide you with this assurance, consider hiring one who will.

 

 

 

2017 – A Few of Our Most Interesting Claims

(From our many claims of 2017, the following are the more interesting.)

A corporate attorney with storm damage to his home had attempted for five months to resolve his claim with his insurance company that had paid him only $3,500 for storm damage to his expensive copper and slate roofing system.. His roofing contractor referred him to me for assistance. After my negotiations were completed, the policyholder received an additional check for $56,000.00.

A homeowner had a fire start in the dryer of his home which caused extensive damage.  His insurance company accused him of setting the fire and refused his claim while they investigated.  He called me for assistance.  They concluded their investigation and determined that the fire started in the dryer and initially offered only $77,000 to settle the claim. After my negotiations were completed, the policyholder received over $160,000 from the insurance company for the damage to his home and contents.

A homeowner had suffered damage to his expensive copper and tile roofing system from hail and the insurance company, after hiring an inspection from a company that they represented to be “engineers”, denied his claim and refused to pay him anything.  His roofing contractor referred him to me for assistance.  After my negotiations were completed, the policyholder received over $28,000 for the repair of her roofing system.

A homeowner suffered damage to his expensive roofing system from hail and his insurance company refused to pay anything for the damage.  His roofing contractor referred him to me for assistance.  After my negotiations were completed, the policyholder received over $86,000 for the repair of his roofing system.

A homeowner had lost everything that she owned in a fire that had occurred a year and a half prior and for which she had not received what she believed to be the full amount of her loss.  She contacted me for assistance.  After my negotiations were completed, the policyholder received an additional amount of over $37,000 for unpaid contents.

A homeowner had suffered damage to the interior of his home from a hailstorm that had damaged his roofing system.  His insurance company hired an engineering company to evaluate his roof and they reported to the insurance company that there was hail damage to the roof but, in their incorrect opinion, not enough to consider the roof to be damaged, according to their own arbitrary definition of “damage”.  The insurance company improperly used the engineer’s report to deny the claim.  The homeowner continued to fight the insurance company for two years until his roofing contractor suggested that he consult with me to see if I could be of assistance to him.  I negotiated a payment of over $25,000 for the homeowner to receive to repair the roof.

 

If you have suffered a loss and believe that it would benefit you to have someone who is experienced with insurance claims assist you through the process, it will cost you nothing to consult with me to see if I can be of assistance to you.  Call me at 314-803-2167 for a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

Fraudulent Engineer Reports and Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim – A Public Adjuster’s Point of View

“Plausible deniability” is a strategy used by some insurance companies to escape their contractual duties to their policyholders that leaves little or no evidence of wrongdoing or abuse.  It allows them to hide behind the wrongful acts of someone else that determines, on their behalf, that your claim should not be paid if and when, in fact, it should be paid.

How might this be done, and how might an engineer’s report play a part in it?

Let’s say that wind or hail has damaged your roof and you have consulted with a trusted roofing contractor or other roofing professional before filing your insurance claim who has confirmed the damage to your roof.  Your professional might have decades of practical experience and training working for a century-old roofing company, spending thousands of hours per year inspecting and repairing damaged roofs exactly like yours. He may have worked with identical materials like those on your roof hundreds of times with countless numbers of expert repairs or replacements provided to hundreds of satisfied homeowners who had hail or wind damage identical to yours … but your insurance company decides to bring in their “expert” to look at your roof, instead.

The hired gun …

Your insurance company’s “expert” will probably be a licensed engineer who has never installed or supervised the installation or repair of a single roof.  His specialty before becoming employed by the “engineering company” he now works for may have been geotechnical, water resources, electronics, or any other of the numerous variety of engineering specialties that have nothing at all to do with building materials.  His brief training program provided by his company may be the only credential he has earned to be an “expert” in the area that he has been called upon to inspect for your claim — and is likely to have seen fewer storm damaged roofs in a year than your contractor has seen in a month or less.

Unwittingly, some policyholders will actually request on their own that the insurance company call in an engineer to provide what the policyholder mistakenly believes to be an unbiased inspection.  The requested engineer is then selected, hired, and paid by the insurance company to provide them with the report that the policyholder is believing to be independent and unbiased.  Whether requested by the insurance company on their own or at the request of the policyholder, the engineer is being directed and paid by the insurance company for his opinion and, like any paid contractor, serves the party who contracts with him.

Back to our example, the insurance company’s “expert” provides an “engineering report” to the insurance company that contradicts the finding of your experienced roofing contractor and your insurance company concludes … based upon the opinion of their hired gun … that the hail damage reported to you by your experienced contractor is not really hail damage and your claim is denied.

Many of these “engineering” companies that employ licensed engineers to provide these types of reports to insurance companies do not provide any other service. Writing these reports for insurance companies is their major (or, in many cases, only) source of business income.  Sometimes, as reported by the television news program “60 Minutes” (click here), the company’s managers may even change the language in the engineer’s original report to benefit an insurance company at the expense of the homeowner.  The financial incentive (usually $1,500 to $2,500 per report) for future repeated business is what will often drive some of them to find creative ways to “help” the insurance company to determine that your hail damage is not really hail damage, that structural damage is not really structural damage, and so on.

As most public adjusters know from the numerous “engineering reports” that we read and discuss with insurance companies, many of them are simple boilerplates with only the beginning and ending pages unique to the applicable home, and many of them lack merit or fact that would actually support a denial of an insurance claim. Unfortunately,  policyholders do not have the advantage of reading enough of these “engineering reports” to recognize the numerous errors, omissions, and duplications contained within them and, accordingly, will mistakenly believe that the report cannot be successfully disputed.

My recent experiences …

Because they don’t know better, many policyholders who have been stung by a fraudulent engineer’s report (or simply one they do not agree with) will insist that their insurance company “send out another engineer”.  First, understand that the engineer was hired to write the controversial report in the first place, and at a considerable sum.  The insurance carrier has no incentive at all to argue with itself.  Second, a second engineer’s report that differs at all with the first simply puts the disputed question in a “tie” – one for and one against.  The second report is not definitive simply because it disagrees with the first.  Requests from policyholders for the insurer to send out a second engineer for a second opinion go nowhere and – even if the carrier should decide to pay for a second report, it is highly unlikely to result in the policyholder’s favor, even if the second engineer disagrees with the insurance company.

An engineer’s report that I received from one of these companies specified how the insurance company’s expert closely examined the “clay tiles” that were chipped and found the damage to be attributed to something other than hail. He then provided a lengthy and generic boilerplate description of how “clay tiles” are made and the scientific studies of the effects of hail that strikes them.  What the expert that wrote the report failed to observe was the fact that the roof was covered with eighty-year-old concrete tiles and not clay tiles.  The homeowner’s experienced contractor knew the difference but the insurance company’s expert obviously didn’t. (If you are not familiar with the difference between the properties of clay and concrete tile, more information is available by clicking here. Now, you know more than a certain insurance company’s expert.)

One engineer’s report for a client that was used to deny an insurance claim for a church with a wind-damaged roof incorrectly described a tongue-in-groove roof covering as plywood sheathing, identified the wrong date (and the wrong windstorm) when he incorrectly reported low wind speeds, and failed to identify and record the fact that the steeple had been lifted and moved by a 100 mph wind. This report was written by an engineer from a company commonly used by insurance companies in several states to support their claim denials.  Whether his errors and omissions were caused by his negligence or bias is not important since his licensing board prohibits both.  When the errors that I found in the report were brought to the insurer’s attention, they promptly paid the claim to replace the steeple.

In another recent case, another engineer from the same company went as far as to actually interpret the insurance policy’s coverage for the insurance company and presented in his report that, while the copper roofing material had clearly been dented by a recent hail storm, the damage “could not be seen from the ground” and was not, in his opinion, actual “damage”.  The insurance company conveniently and improperly allowed this errant interpretation of coverage by the engineer to stand … knowing fully that the policy had no such exclusion for hail damage that “could not be seen from the ground”.  The insurer denied payment to the policyholder, an elderly widow, and I was hired to intercede on her behalf.  I immediately challenged their action and reopened the claim.  The insurance company finally … and reluctantly … agreed to pay the policyholder over $232,000.00 to restore the roof to its pre-damaged condition and the engineer has reportedly returned to his full-time of job of selling real estate.

As you can see from these three recent examples … it has been my professional experience and personal observation that not all engineer reports reflect accuracy, competency or non-bias — and insurance companies that use these reports to deny claims are not always acting in good faith.

[Worthy of note are the instances in which the engineer report is, by design or negligence, written in an ambiguous manner that allows facts about the damage that could benefit the policyholder’s claim to be manipulated in favor of the insurance company paying for the report. Most policyholders are not trained or able to fully comprehend detailed engineering reports.  In one recent claim in 2019, for example, an engineer report that accurately described and reported damage to a commercial building was wrongfully interpreted by the insurance company to deny a claim that, after I reopened it and challenged their interpretation, resulted in a check to my client for over $682,000.00.  Prudent policyholders will arrange to have their insurance denial letters and accompanying engineer reports reviewed by a public adjuster before walking away from their claim.]

What can you do if you are working the claim on your own…?

First, feel free to email a link to this page to your insurance company’s adjuster and let him or her know that you are on to the game.

While some state Departments of Insurance may not find these actions to be something they wish to handle or spend political capital, there are often other departments within state government that are able to act to preserve the integrity of the engineering profession and, in turn, protect the public from licensed engineers who are acting in an incompetent or biased manner.

Licensed professional engineers are accountable for their acts of bias and/or negligence to the state that issue their licenses. Accordingly, home insurance policyholders that believe they are victims of an improper relationship between their insurance company and an “engineering company” may have recourse through the state department that licenses the engineer that wrote the incorrect and/or biased report.

Formal complaints from homeowners that have merit will be investigated by the licensing board, and the competency and integrity of the licensed engineer that wrote the report will be evaluated by the board that issued his or her license.

Engineers who write reports for insurance companies to use to deny claims that contain incorrect, partial, or biased information will have to justify their actions (if they can) to their respective licensing boards that monitor and enforce competency and impartiality. Their actions, if found to be due to incompetence or partiality, could result in sanctions up to and including fines and forfeiture of their licenses and these findings can be used by homeowners to address their denial or underpayment through the proper channels available to them … through their policies or judicial means.

Enough enforcement actions taken against licensed engineers that participate in the practice of routinely providing insurance companies with undue “plausible deniability” used in their refusal to pay legitimate claims could effectively reduce this threat to policyholders seeking to be indemnified for their losses.

[Note:  Policyholders should also take care to ensure that the “engineer report” was actually written by a state licensed engineer.  In some cases, these damage inspections are conducted by “consultants” and/or “home inspectors” who are not licensed engineers.  The reports that they compose are subsequently sent to engineers to sign and affix their seal before forwarding them to an insurance company for their use. When you find the inevitable errors or omissions in these reports resulting from the unprofessional inspection or observation, and report them to the insurance company, be certain that the insurance company is not responding to you regarding these errors with advice from the same unlicensed consultant instead of a licensed engineer. I have communicated with some insurance adjusters who are not aware of the difference.]

2016 – Our Most Interesting Claims

(From our many claims of 2016, the following are the more interesting.)

Hail Damage to a Commercial Building — An insurance agent sold himself a policy for a commercial structure that he personally owned and that was subsequently damaged in a violent storm of high wind and softball sized hail. He filed a claim and the insurance company’s adjuster inspected his loss, applied his deductible, and wrote him a check for only $127.

The understandably shocked insurance agent attempted to negotiate a fair settlement for his loss on his own but could not get cooperation from the adjuster or his claims department. Eventually, the carrier’s claims department stopped responding to the calls from the agent and from his contractor.  After several weeks of frustration and lack of progress, he contacted me and hired me to assist him with his claim.

After three weeks of negotiating with the insurance company and revisiting the property with a different adjuster, the insurance company agreed to settle for a little over $111,000.00.

You read that right.  After originally valuing the loss at only $127.00 over the deductible, the insurance company agreed to the existence of extensive hail damage and paid more than $111,000.00 to restore the damaged property.

If being lowballed on an insurance claim can happen to an insurance agent, it can certainly happen to you.

[The agent now sells insurance for a different insurance company.]

 

Water Damage — After finishing their morning routine and leaving their home for work, the policyholder and his family were unaware that a water supply line in their bathroom had broken. When they returned home at the end of the day, there were more than two inches of water covering several thousand square feet of floor space and wicking up the walls. The insurance company’s adjuster did not convince the policyholder that he was making a fair assessment of the damage and I was invited to assist with the claim.

The initial calculation to address the damage to the structure that was provided by the insurance company’s first adjuster was $24,763.83.  After a few weeks of negotiations, we agreed to settle for the full cost of repairing the damage to the structure … which came to $69,764.94.

 

Hail Damage to a Personal Dwelling — The concrete and asbestos roof tiles were destroyed by a hail storm and water entered the interior walls of the home. The insurance company offered $28,000.00 to replace the roof and repair the interior … but the homeowner could not find a contractor willing to do the work for that price.

One of her contractors referred the homeowner to me to communicate with the insurance company on their behalf. In a shorter period of time than it took the policyholder to negotiate a $28,000.00 offer, I negotiated a settlement for $98,000.00 and she immediately hired a contractor to restore her home to its original condition prior to the storm.

 

Hail Damage to a Commercial Building — When the claim was first filed by my client, the insurance company said that there was no hail damage to the slate roof. After an inspection by someone the carrier identified as an “engineer” (who wasn’t), the insurance company agreed to pay only $61,000.00 for a partial repair to the damaged roof.

Refusing to back down after our negotiations were stalled by the insurance company, we took the claim to appraisal and prevailed with an award of over $130,000.00 to replace the slate roof.

Painting Your Home

Doing regular maintenance on your home is important for keeping things in working order, as well as keeping up physical appearances. Applying a new paint job is a great way to kick off that long list of repairs. Old or damaged paint can leave your home looking outdated and neglected. Start off your home maintenance projects with a fresh paint job for each room in your house.

Living Room

The living room is usually the main room of a home. It is often the room we relax, entertain, and well, live. The paint type you use will depend on whether your living room is formal or informal. An elegant matte or eggshell finish would work best in a formal room. These finishes are also best for painting the ceiling. Matte and eggshell have a soft sheen and can be washed without being damaged.

If the room is an informal space, a satin or semi-gloss paint may be the best choice. These finishes are best for homes with small children as they are durable and more stain resistant than matte or eggshell paint.

Bedrooms

A wide variety of finishes can be used in the bedroom. Which one is right for you will depend on the use of the room. High traffic rooms, such as a small child’s room, should be painted with a semi-gloss, satin or eggshell finish. These are the easiest to clean and are the most durable.

An adult bedroom that is used mainly for sleeping would not require a high traffic finish. A matte or flat paint would work great in a master or guest bedroom. These types of finishes are best for older or imperfect walls for their ability to mask flaws. They’re also best for rooms that get a lot of sunlight as they won’t reflect the way satin or semi-gloss will.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are unique in that they experience high traffic, temperature changes and lots of humidity. The paint in this room should be resistant to stains, moisture, mold, and mildew. A semi-gloss paint would be the best option for bathrooms. This finish can be scrubbed clean without damaging the surface making cleaning and disinfecting easy and safe for the integrity of the finish.

Kitchen

Kitchen walls suffer from a lot of the same abuse that bathroom walls do. Food splatters and steam from cooking can wear on your paint. Like the bathroom, a semi-gloss finish works best for the high traffic area. The walls will most likely need to be cleaned and wiped down frequently and the semi-gloss is durable enough to withstand the constant cleaning.

The color of paint you choose for each of these rooms will depend on the feel you want to convey in the room. Shades of brown, red and rust orange can be used to create a warm or rustic ambiance. Shades of white or blue can be used to make the room feel clean and bright. Black, grays, and whites work well for making the room feel modern and contemporary. A light color on the ceiling can be used to contrast dark walls. Additionally, a dark color can be used for a tall ceiling.

A fresh paint job with the proper type of finish can make a room look new and well-maintained. Your list of home repairs and maintenance might be overwhelming, but repainting your home doesn’t have to be. Use the information you’ve gained here to conquer this home improvement project. With the correct finish and color paint your home will feel like a brand new place.

This article was donated by Jon Reyes from Clearwells. Jon has been writing articles for over 10 years and is a commanding voice in the community with his articles high in demand.

 

Overhead and Profit … Another Way to Lose It.

 

Duaban Roof Inspection 087

About a third of my business comes to me in the form of referrals from contractors who have customers with property damage and insurance companies that are unwilling to pay what is necessary to restore the damaged property to its condition prior to the damaging event.

Recently, I received a call from a frustrated general contractor who explained that his customer’s insurance company was refusing to pay him overhead and profit for replacing a roof.  He told me that his original bid for interior water damage to the home did not include damage to the roof and that the roof was added to his scope of work after the damage had been discovered by the insurance company’s adjuster.

When he subsequently contracted with the policyholder to replace the roof (in addition to the interior), he made the common mistake of agreeing to accept “what the insurance company agreed to pay” as his fee.

Overhead and profit were included with his contract for the interior and the insurance company agreed to pay him for it but refused to pay overhead and profit for the roof.  He felt that this was improper and asked for my assistance with the claim.

I didn’t have very good news for him.

First, I explained that public adjusters represent policyholders and not their contractors.  Accordingly, if I were hired by his customer to assist him in getting all of the money that he is entitled to recover under his policy for the damage to the home, one of the many things I have to do is prove that the policyholder has incurred certain costs.

In this case, since the policyholder had signed a contract with a general contractor to have his roof replaced for “what the insurance company agreed to pay“, the policyholder was not incurring the additional costs of overhead and profit and could not claim them.  His insurance company has no obligation to pay him more than what he is being charged to address the covered damages.

In my opinion, a better procedure for the contractor would have been to provide an amendment to his bid that included the roof replacement and all associated costs, including overhead and profit.  His client could then show the insurance company what he was being billed by his contractor of choice.  At that point, the insurance company would be able to address the total cost of roof replacement incurred by their policyholder and chose whether or not to comply with the terms of their policy.  Under those conditions, refusal by the insurance company to pay for an incurred expense (such as overhead and profit) could be addressed much differently.

Contractors who agree to charge “what the insurance company agrees to pay” must accept the fact that they have allowed the insurance company … not the market … to set their fee for them.  They will certainly not be collecting more than what they charge.

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