New to the group here but wanted to get some opinions. I’m a roofing contractor here in OK and have a Liberty Mutual claim I’m working on. They did their initial inspection with the ladder assist company, Ladder Now, a couple weeks ago. My client received a call from LM stating they wanted to have an engineer come and assess the damage due to “inconsistencies”. Now, I’ve already been in contact with my PA here and he’s ready to jump on board. What makes this even more interesting is, last week, this same property received golf ball sized hail. Liberty Mutual is refusing to do a Re-inspection and insisting on the Engineer. My PA is saying they have never had one good experience with the engineer, Donan, and that we should expect an uphill battle with these guys. I’d love to circumvent the engineer and the PA but that’s not looking plausible. Anyone experienced something similar that has any advice? This is my first dealing with this situation… Thanks in advance
Well if they got golf all sized hail on top of the damage you claim they had before, should be a no brained for the engineer to see it!
Here’s what we have done. We have prevailed against Donan the last two times they were invovled.
Go out to the property and inspect the roof shingle by shingle. Chalk up every bit of damage you can find (make certain it is valid). Chalk off a test square on every major slope that has damage that can show 8 to 10 hits in the square. Now take lots of photos from far away (ground or drone, drone is better) and also close ups to document all the damage.
Send the photos to LM via email and ask why the delay in approving the roof when the damages found by a local, professional roofer are quite conclusive. If you have an Attorney, copy them on the email so the LM Adjuster can see it. But do not mention the Attorney. Do all this prior to the Donan Engineer showing up.
Be polite and professional when the Donan Engineer shows up. Print out the photos if the chalk marks have worn off and show them to the Donan Engineer in a friendly manner letting them know this is what your roofer found. Ask politely if they mind if your Contractor accompanies them on the roof to help see the damage and answer any questions. Video record them from the ground to make certain the Donan Engineer is taking the time to evaluate all damages.
By doing this, you are sending a clear message that won’t be lost on LM or the Donan Engineer. Donan is under fire by numerous people and organizations for their shenanigans.
Thank you for all the advice. I will follow your suggestions and we’ll see how it goes.
Donan is nothing more than a “gun for hire” compensated by corporate clients, like LM. They simply provide “3rd party evidence” to justify LM’s original decision which is repairs or denial. AD’s comment is a good option. I select another engineer and request LM pays for them if they would like an engineers opinion.
They usually agree but if they don’t I express in writing that it is extremely suspicious that they would not be willing to deviate from their network engineer. They are Donan’s repeat client and thus, through the size of LM account with Donan, a compensation based bias will exist in favor of LM. It establishes the expressed concern of a bias and allows for reasonable grounds to challenge a bogus decision when Donan sides with LM.
Because that is exactly the truth of the situation. They use Donan because Donan does what ever LM or any other huge client tells them to do. If the adjuster refuses I schedule for the engineer I selected to evaluate the roof first and then send that report to the adjuster as well as bring that report to the engineer and record the conversation. It lets them know that you are serious and won’t hesitate to invest in pursuing a just resolution form your client.
Most roofers are weak or broke and so desperate to make a little bit of money they don’t fight them. They just move on to the next one. Or, if they are really dumb, they added more damage to the roof and don’t want to get caught so they are afraid of engineers. I make a third of my revenue on roofs & claims other companies abandoned.
Short simple solution…Advise your client to get his own engineer, with your assistance for reasons as outlined, and use fire with fire. The Ins co’s engineer isn’t going to risk loss of credibility in the industry and if he’s outgunned too many times the Ins Co will find another engineer, and he knows it. His usefulness comes to an end
How would you propose the homeowner recover the $1,000 to $2,000 fee needed to hire an engineer? Where does that leave them if they still lose?
You don’t hire an engineer to lose, and I don’t entertain ‘if’ in any argument.
Insurance companies don’t go into court against a competent engineer.
Secondly, how do you propose the homeowner is going to cope with a badly repaired roof?
We’ve gotten the last two encounters with Donan approved and didn’t hire anybody.
I few solid pieces of advice in here. Keep us updated on how it works out.
Documentation is the key in this. Youre right when you say they dont want to go to court. Thats the last thing insurance companies want to do. By taking the steps A_D proposed, you avoid having to pay a fee for something you can legitimately handle yourself. Just document and be professional. And have the homeowner prepared for the calls and wording they may hear from the adj along the way. But this is definitely do-able without an engineer. Would it be quicker with one, maybe. But why take that risk if its not needed.
Whilst I agree in essence the two ingredients required are inclination and commitment by both the contractor and homeowner. The likelihood of the homeowner being able to discern as to what is proposed at any point in time unless he/she records the conversation, is doubtful
The engineer is being brought in by the Ins co to confuse the issue and to present an assessment that the average contractor cannot argue with, through lack of confidence, experience, and commitment. The contractor is a roofer and is not likely to feel confident to argue the engineering intricacies even though his argument may be rational.
Should the contractor maintain his position and follow through, he will have gained an invaluable lesson that will serve him well in the future as to how to deal with this type of belligerence however to do this, in this instance, he will need the co operation of the homeowner.
An education comes at a cost…time and or money
I’m not sure what you actually said but if I understand the essence, I don’t agree. The Donan Engineers write their reports from templates. There’s no argument the HO or Contractor can make with the Donan Engineer that will make any difference. I know, I’ve been there and done that. I am a degreed Mech Eng and listened to their BS spiel then tore them apart when they finished. Didn’t make any difference. They don’t care about facts. If facts were important, the Engineer wouldn’t be there to begin with.
If people will follow the approach I prescribed previously, they will have much greater success. Will it work every time? Of course not. But it also sets things up for potentially turning to an Attorney. You can of course ask the HO to hire their own Engineering firm but all that’s going to do is have a report of their own available when they hire an Attorney and go to court.
Now I understand…this is about big noting yourself, whereas I took the argument to be about the predicament an individual contractor finds himself in.
To begin with the majority of contractors are not Mech. Engineers and do not have the experience to interact with those of the engineering discipline.
The idea is not to find yourself in court although being prepared to do so as the first thing any attorney is going to ask for is a contradictory argument to the Ins Co’s engineer.
I said it before and I’ll say it again…no Insurance co and or their attorney is willing to go into court to lose which is what they will do as the court bias is already against the Ins Co and they know it.
Whilst what Miss S said is correct, the process is outside the scope of the average contractor
Don’t forget Authentic, this is the guy who is smarter than everyone else here. I see another comment with a subtle dig about roofers intelligence. He’ll start analyzing grammatical errors next if you don’t agree with him.
He missed my entire point but that’s okay. I make it a point to pay attention to people who routinely pay an Engineer and Attorney to fight for a $8K to $12K roof claim. Makes perfect sense. Sounds like a guy that has spent a lot of time reading posts from chest thumpers and now he’s here thumping his. Whatever.
Look back through his old posts. He’s the dork that talks about using heat guns on shingles and insults everyone’s intellect with his “superior” grasp of the English language.
I can see you are the self appointed President of his fan club Tileman. I do my best to ignore people like him as much as possible. They don’t have anything of value to add and only distract from real purpose.
If he was directly insulting me he would be easy to shrug off, like a tick or mosquito. When he starts insulting the intelligence of ALL roofers, even though he tries to camouflage it, I take offense. He reminds me of the elites that think farmers and ranchers are stupid because they don’t use big words, even though they can fix anything in a wet muddy field with baling wire and a crescent wrench.
I understand. I read about 2 lines of his posts and see what he is all about and then ignore the rest. When someone acts like he does, they’re insulting themselves with their arrogant ignorance. I’m more interested in reading what you and a half dozen or so other true roofing experts have to say here. That’s where I’ll learn something valuable. I’m very, very selfish about my time. I’m not going to waste it on a troll.