Asbestos HELP!


#1

So I have a client that has a very old house. The insurance company (Columbia Lloyds w/ Orena Claims Services) has paid for fiber cement - shingle style R&R. My sales reps (both used to be siding salesmen) and my exterior subcontractor feel like it’s asbestos. Of course, Orena will not do a re-inspection without an estimate. As the estimator, I am nervous to write up an estimate since I am new to actually using Xactimate to write my estimate/invoices even though I’ve been working insurance estimates in Xactimate for years. To be straight to the point, I need to help figuring out exactly what line items I need to make sure I cover total scope and don’t short-change myself. Anyone have any suggestions? All help appreciated.

Thanks,


#2

How could you do a quote knowing (guessing) the existing is asbestos and will need to mitigated? Have you had the material tested? What is the mitigation cost? If this isn’t understood by the insurance company I would suggest you walk from the job.


#3

I would suggest you identify a good asbestos abatement contractor in your area. Have the owner contact them and test the material for asbestos. If it is asbestos containing material, have the owner submit the abatement proposal to his insurer. Once the asbestos is removed and certified gone, then it is a straightforward roof job for you.

I suggest that you don’t touch the asbestos or sign your name to any documents regarding it, because your GL almost certainly does not provide any coverage for you regarding asbestos.

I’m confused about your uncertainty to use Xactimate if you are familiar with it. The beauty of this type of unique roof claim is that if you can write it properly in Xactimate you are ahead of most adjusters who couldn’t even begin. If you can’t, stay off Xactimate and use another format to submit a proposal that works for your business.


#4

I appreciate the response. Unfortunately, it’s not my call to take or walk away from the job. I’m in the process of scheduling a company to go out and test the material. My fear is that it will come back positive and I will be put in the position to write the estimate without covering my own ass on the cost. I could be making this harder than it is. Do I just get a bid for the remediation of the asbestos and add as a Misc. Line Item or do I have to break down between haz mats, labor, etc.?

On the topic of my familiarity with Xactimate, I have been looking at Xactimate estimates and negotiating pricing on scope with insurance companies for a few years, but I am only now making my own. I’m sure you are well aware you can sell yourself short quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing. i.e you estimate 300 SF seal & paint walls and ceilings but you dont add content manipulation, mask & tape, allowance for tall ceilings, etc. I was wondering if anyone has written an estimate in Xactimate on removal of asbestos recently and what they went back with (that insurance would call comparable)

Thanks,


#5

Just keep in mind that without pollution insurance (not included in your GL) your company would have tremendous liability exposure, even if nothing goes wrong. Liability aside, being the contractor of record on an unlicensed abatement project opens you to enormous EPA fines and criminal prosecution for doing asbestos work without a license.

I’ve done asbestos roofs before, and in my experience the best way to go is to help your client arrange the asbestos abatement, but keep your fingerprints off of it. If you have the appropriate insurance, then submit the abatement contractor’s estimate as a bid item in yours and enjoy the 16.67% net profit on his work.

If you insist, then get a solid quote from an abatement contractor and back into it with your Xactimate estimate. If you are going to spitball the estimate without a target you need to hit, then please move to GA and write estimates for my competitors.


#6

You are making it difficult. If it comes back hot, get a bid from a licensed abatement contractor for the removal. Add the bid price as a line item to your estimate and attach the bid. Also include the testing fees. Keep in mind that most abatements will require a 3rd party environmental consultant as well during abatement. Some contractors will include the fee in their bid.


#7

TitanTX,
I’ve created an Xactimate asbestos macro for flooring, but I can easily apply it to roofing and send it to you if you are still interested. It includes all the REQUIRED line items as mandated by OSHA, EPA & state guidelines (I’m in Michigan) for ACM Type II - Non-friable. As a general contractor in the restoration industry, we run across alot of asbestos flooring and ceiling tiles, although not many roofs. ACM Roofs are considered Type I - Friable, therefore, I’ll have to modify it to reflect as such.

My asbestos macro includes attached notes which documents specific OSHA regulations for each required line item, which makes it virtually impossible for an insurance carrier to dispute. (Not to say they haven’t tried in the past, but eventually conceded.)

Ron


#8

This^^

I’d like to add… Make sure to include a bid for scaffolding if asbestos removal is required. In my experience asbestos guys are not roofers and want scaffold. As stated, both scaffold and asbestos removal/testing prices should be separate from your roofing price. Add a little more on top of your roof bid to cover “coordination fees” as working behind an asbestos removal team is slow going. Chances are you’ll need to be there every night to water proof everything after the removal team is done with their work for the day. Again, they are not roofers.


#9

Have the roofing material tested. For us we have to do this on every job.

You can’t see or feel asbestos. It’s checked under a microscope and other tests. The H/O will get a bill around 300-700 for the testing.

Dropping asbestos on the ground is like… I don’t evne know much much of a fine here or elsewhere. I’m NOT trying to find out!

Then all workers exposed will sue you, neighbors, homeowner, etc.

Just test it at the H/O expense. They have a right to test it check the EPA’s website I’m sure they have a right. Because there is federal regulations on asbestos handling as well as state regulations. For us it is Code rule 56. It’s my most hated law no one seems to follow here in NY. I follow it due to the huge fear of the beating the state would give me if I didn’t and got caught. I think the fines are usually +/- start at 35k-100k.

I know there is a few guys each year who do commercial projects and play asbestos games to save 1-200,000+… They usually get hit with a 3-5M fine and jail time.

Homeowner probably has to pay for it, Insurance will pay for it if it’s mandatory. Which I don’t believe in any state I can just rip apart asbestos.


#10

Google “theclaimrep”. He does asbestos estimates all the time. he is pretty good. I use him to write up funky stuff for me.


#11

Hi Ron,
I googled xactimate macros for asbestos and your blog came up. I was wondering if you are still wiling if you code send me a copy of your macro with the notes.
Please let me know either way. I have an asbestos job in MI and want to make sure I am not missing anything.