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Category: Getting The Check

Do You Know What An AOB Is?

Do You Know What An AOB Is?

Sign the Contract
Sign the Contract




An AOB is a good way for scammers to take advantage and rip-off unsuspecting homeowners after a CAT type loss like Hurricane Mathew.

AOB stands for Assignment Of Benefits. And in some states can essentially mean that by signing one, an insured is giving away their rights to any monies that are released by their insurance company in accordance with their insurance policy to another person. In this case to a contractor who is supposed to fix their home after damages have occurred.

This can be a really good thing and make paying for services rendered an easier process for not only the contractor but the insured as well.

Unfortunately it can also make it very difficult for a good, reputable, qualified restoration contractor to get clients to hire them to do the restoration work that they so desperately need help with.

Several insurance companies are putting articles on their websites warning their insureds to not sign these forms and cautioning people to be wary of anyone coming to their door offering to do storm work for them. This is understandable under the circumstances but this will also make it increasingly more difficult to get your foot in the door as a contractor.

But if you make sure that you have a few things in place and step up your game just a bit you could be signing all the jobs you can handle.

Here are three things you need to make sure that you do to put your potential clients at ease and have them asking “where do I sign”:

1. Offer a guarantee on your workmanship. If you won’t stand by your work why should a homeowner hire you? Do not be afraid to stand behind your work. If you and your team are properly trained and have the right equipment to do the work and do it right, then you have no reason not to offer an awesome guarantee to put your potential clients concerns at ease. Take away the fear of doing business with you and your company.

2. Show them social proof. Bring a tablet with you that you can use to show a potential client what others have to say about you. Pull up your website, Facebook Page and your Youtube Channel. This will show them that you have credibility and that you have lots of happy clients that are recommending you to others. And what others have to say about you is infinitely more believable than anything you could say about yourself.

3. Ask them to tell you their story. People need to feel understood and cared about or they won’t feel like they can trust you. And if you are an out of state company that is coming in after a large catastrophe like a hurricane you will need to work harder than a local company to gain their trust and their signature. In the first few minutes of a conversation you need to ask them “can you tell me what happened”? Now that might seem silly when we know a hurricane just hit the area but its not. Everyones circumstance and story are different in some way. Letting them share their individual experience will give you a good foundation to start building trust and creating a connection.

Remember you are going to be dealing with people that are in shock and traumatized.

What they need most from you is understanding and hope.

And for the restoration contractor that provides both for their clients there will be huge success!

Why Crossing Your T’s And Dotting Your I’s Is So Important

Why Crossing Your T’s And Dotting Your I’s Is So Important





I know that you guys are all probably getting tired of hearing me harp all the time on how important it is to get your paper work signed, sealed and delivered right from the beggining on each and every job.

So I want to share with you what just happened on one of our recent jobs and how crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s saved our bacon.

We did a pretty small job for a contractor that we work with on a regular basis and all seemed to be cut and dry. The homeowner was very easy going (almost too much so in hindsight) and very laid back about most of her things.

The job only took 3 days with a small crew and there was no structure involved.

We put all the cleaned inventoried contents into a mini storage unit and gave the homeowner the key upon our completion of all content cleaning.

Travis had all the proper paper work signed before work started and all the proper paperwork signed at the completion ie: authorization to pay and certificate of completion.

Everything passed her inspections after cleaning and all was going very well.

Or so we thought…

About 4 days after we completed the job and had all final paperwork signed the homeowner decided to have a problem with a laptop. Claiming to have gotten black soot and smoke all over her hands after removing it from the storage unit that housed all of her cleaned inventoried contents.

She called her Insurance Agent and demanded that everything be recleaned and re-inspected.

You can imagine my shock when I got a phone call from the Contractor telling me all of this as I know how my crew cleans and the systems that I have in place to ensure that something like this doesn’t happen.

We have two quality control inspections that everything goes thru to ensure that gets missed.

So I called the homeowner and asked her to tell me what she found. Once she was done I validated her concerns and let her know that I would leave the very next morning and personally come and inspect the entire storage unit full of contents box by box.

She was shocked that I was so quickly willing to deal with the situation that she was taken aback. She asked for me to wait a day or so as she wanted to talk things over with her husband and Insurance Adjuster.

I found this a little odd for someone that was so concerned about her belongings but I said ok.

The next day I received a call from the Contractor again letting me know that the homeowner had changed the lock on the storage unit and she did not want anyone to access it unless she was there.

Very odd behavior I must say for someone that was so laid back just a week earlier.

You see she did not have a problem with any of the cleaning we did. She wanted a new laptop. Which was between her and her adjuster.

But as I have said many times before people can experience a very big range of emotions right after an insurance loss has occurred in their home. And the more efficiently you handle the paper work that will ward off potential difficult situations between you and your homeowner the smoother the job will go every time.

I was very happy to find out that as protocol all of our sign off sheets were signed and especially the authorization to pay and C.O.C that was signed the day after all cleaning was completed.

So we will be getting paid shortly by the insurance company directly and we skillfully avoided what could have been a very tough $$ situation.

I hope that by sharing this story with you that you will be a bit more careful and maybe thorough with your paperwork.

The Software You Need To Be Using If You Are Doing Insurance Work

The Software You Need To Be Using If You Are Doing Insurance Work

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There are several programs out there that you can use to bill the insurance company for your restoration job. But the one that I am going to talk about is the one that is most widely used and accepted in our industry and is necessary if you want to be on most Preferred Service Provider programs or PSP.

And trust me you want to look into as many of these programs that are in your area and get on them if they are good.

The software is Xactimate.

Xactimate is the insurance program that the majority of insurance companies use. If you are going to be on a preferred program an insurance company may actually require that you use Xactimate billing.

It’s important that you get this program and use it in your company. It will make things smoother for you and make you more usable by every insurance company across the board. You can use it on more than one computer. I believe the current fee is a $250 setup fee and then $250 a month or $1500 a per year if paid all at once. It’s not very expensive compared to how much money you can make with it.

This program is setup to communicate with insurance companies and in the way that they want to be communicated with.

You see when billing an insurance job you need to be able to break your charges down in the manner by which the insurance company processes them on their side. If you don’t you create more work for the adjuster and become a pain and that is not what you want.

What you want is for them to want you on every one of their jobs because you make their job easier. If you make their job more difficult than it already is they are going to potentially recommend that the insured they are working with consider working with another contractor. And if the job is one that is being run thru their PSP program you won’t get it unless you use Xactimate.

To understand how valuable this software is you need to understand how insurance companies process their claims on their end.

Insurance companies only pay for the property that was damaged by the loss that occurred. So if a room has two walls that need repainted they will only pay for those two walls not the entire room. Or if 17 lineal feet of floor trim is damaged they will pay to replace only 17 lineal feet not the entire room. This is assuming that it is able to be matched.Â




So the insurance company estimates repairs by the square foot, lineal foot and sometimes by the individual each item. You obviously need to understand which is which in the insurance world but Xactimate will automatically break those down for you by an area after you enter the entire dimensions of a room. The program also allows you to put in special things like notes and pictures attached to the particular item entered.

In Xactimate you can also easily break your bill down by the room and by the line item. And enter all the details that you want. And trust me you want tons of details on each billing.

When you are doing billing to the insurance company I want you to remember that they are not standing on the job site. They are not seeing everything that you have done like the homeowner has. For this reason you want to be very, very careful and detailed in your explanation of charges on your bill. The more detail you can give on a bill the less chance that you are going to have the adjustor call you or question you about anything. They will feel more comfortable pushing it right through so that you get paid right away.

Getting your scope of repairs and cleaning out to the insurance company very quickly is important. Not only does the adjustor want to process the claim quickly and get it closed. The faster you get your bill to the insurance company then the faster that you are going to get paid for the job. And that is what having a specialty program like Xactimate will do for you.

So as you can see to use an excel spreadsheet or a program like say Quick Books to send in your restoration billings you could be sabotaging your own invoices and thus success.

~ Annissa