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Regarding Termination by the owner.

nogo1024

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Jul 17, 2019
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Hi there,

I'm an estimator of water and fire damage restoration company. Few months ago, my client got a damage on his property and we got a contract. (somebody crashed a building with a car) And for few months, we have found, communicated and arranged schedules with all sub-contractors such as glass company, plumbing, electric and etc and estimated and negotiated with an adjuster. And few month later, it was approved based on my estimate by the insurance company and an owner of the property received a check. The only thing left were just to pay to the sub contractors and arranging a schedule. And then the owner changed his mind and suddenly terminated us with no reason. And he hired other, "cheaper" sub contractors and completed the job to take the difference including O&P. As a result, we have been working for few months for nothing! we haven't received even a penny. I asked an adjuster to help us out and he didn't want to involve at all. In this case, what can we do..?

I found a contract of a Public Adjuster on Google and it has a clause saying (I don't remember exactly but it was like) "If it is approved by the insurance company based on my(public adjusters) estimate, the homeowner is responsible to pay 20% of the estimate". Does having this kind of clause actually work when i'm terminated for no reason?

Please give me an advise! Thank you.
 

CCWorks

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Hi there,

I'm an estimator of water and fire damage restoration company. Few months ago, my client got a damage on his property and we got a contract. (somebody crashed a building with a car) And for few months, we have found, communicated and arranged schedules with all sub-contractors such as glass company, plumbing, electric and etc and estimated and negotiated with an adjuster. And few month later, it was approved based on my estimate by the insurance company and an owner of the property received a check. The only thing left were just to pay to the sub contractors and arranging a schedule. And then the owner changed his mind and suddenly terminated us with no reason. And he hired other, "cheaper" sub contractors and completed the job to take the difference including O&P. As a result, we have been working for few months for nothing! we haven't received even a penny. I asked an adjuster to help us out and he didn't want to involve at all. In this case, what can we do..?

I found a contract of a Public Adjuster on Google and it has a clause saying (I don't remember exactly but it was like) "If it is approved by the insurance company based on my(public adjusters) estimate, the homeowner is responsible to pay 20% of the estimate". Does having this kind of clause actually work when i'm terminated for no reason?

Please give me an advise! Thank you.
If you did all that work and paper work, and then the insurance company cut a check based on your work. The owner got paid for you to do the work. And then the owner kept the check? I would guess, in a legal matter, you did do work and was not paid for your work.

But every state and county have their own laws
 

mrotto

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we did fire/water damage work a few years back. My best guess is that you provided an estimate that was paid by the adjuster. KEY! If the check was written to the customer only, then they get to decide who they want to do the work. Unless you have something in writing that they agree to pay you, you just provided an estimate, thats all. thats why in the future to either have something in writing PRIOR to the estimate (unlikely) or have the insurance adjuster cut the check to both the homeowner and you. Technically, the homeowner doesnt even need to have the work done or can do it himself if they want. The only thing the insurance company is liable for is the loss.

Eat it and learn from it. By going court, your wasting your time.

I had a fire job - total gut and replace. Prepared the entire estimate. Did not hear from the owner for a few days so I went over to see what they decided to do. They had family members over and gutted the entire house to the studs. I was quite astonished what they did in such a short time. Then they asked if I would soot seal the framing as per our quote. Yah, right.
 
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nogo1024

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Honestly, I'm just forgetting about this project and decided to think positively. But i should prepare before it would happen again in future. The problem is that the communicating with sub contractors, and time and effort to make an estimate approved isn't a part of the estimate. I understand it is homeowner's right what to do with the money but anyway we have spent lots of time to negotiate with adjusters. And i think it's unfair for contractors if we are just simply terminated and get nothing after the efforts. I'm looking for just the minimum protection.
 

mrotto

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time and effort to make an estimate approved isn't a part of the estimate
you lost me there. If I give a carpet cleaning estimate, I have to schedule it, travel there, measure, explain process, etc. Do I bill them for that? No, its part of doing business. Same with Restoration (just bigger numbers)

I dont know about your area, but in my area if you send a bill for every estimate you do, you wont be doing Restoration work very long.
 

mrotto

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Does having this kind of clause actually work when i'm terminated for no reason?
after rereading the question, you have the wrong premise. You were never *hired* therefore you were never terminated. (unless you had a prior contract with either the homeowner or adjuster)
 

nogo1024

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you lost me there. If I give a carpet cleaning estimate, I have to schedule it, travel there, measure, explain process, etc. Do I bill them for that? No, its part of doing business. Same with Restoration (just bigger numbers)

I dont know about your area, but in my area if you send a bill for every estimate you do, you wont be doing Restoration work very long.
after rereading the question, you have the wrong premise. You were never *hired* therefore you were never terminated. (unless you had a prior contract with either the homeowner or adjuster)
Mrotto,

Thank you for the advise. I'm not sure you are in this field or not, it is not like a carpet cleaning quote. I also own a carpet cleaning company and understand what you wanted to say. However for restoration works, it often takes few months until it is approved. This one was about $200k project, and insurance companies are not idiots. Sketching, getting permits, talking with engineers, sub contractors, estimating with Xactimate, discussing dozens of times with adjusters and so on, lots of things have to be done to have insurance companies pay to the insured, represented of an owner and it takes few months. Also, of course we get a signature on our contract from the clients in advance (without the work authorization, insurance company doesn't even provide any information) that means "we were absolutely hired by the owner". And that's exactly what Public Adjusters do. PA do the same things and get a commission from an owner. Now what i'm curious is if PA is terminated after it is approved, they must have had something to protect them..
 

mike$

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Sucks, has happened to me a few times. Unless you have assignment of benefits, work auth, and customer agreeing to pay you for the negotiation process your SOL. During the fires in CA I spent many of day doing the adjusters job for them. Customers would collect check from insurance hire another contractor. I dont do the adjusters job anymore on an unsecured jobsite.
 

Scott W

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Your contract (Work authorization) should specify what you are being hired to do, when payments are made and what is covered by the payments. If you did work that was listed on the WA, then you should get paid. File a lein if necessary.

If your contract did not spell those things out properly, then have a lawyer write up your WA. Each state has different laws and regulations. You will need something specifically for your state. You may want to contact Ed Cross in California. He writes agreements for many states. There is also a law firm in Orlando that does this. Another senior moment when I don't don't recall the lawyers name.
 

CCWorks

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When we try to sell and buy a house. We had to and wanted to get a home inspection. The cost to have some one come out for about one hour cost about $200.00 to $300.00, and they seem to miss a lot of problems when my mom bought a trailer. It cost me a lot of time and tools to fix what the home inspector missed. over $2000.00 in repairs I had to make.

He missed duct work under the mobile house trailer. Cost to have a contractor come out was about $300.00 to connect a 24" x 20' ventilation flex tube. A cat or something dug under ground and made a home in the flex tube duct work.
Had to buy a power washer and power wash the feces away from under the home.

Missed a water line leak to a refrigerator. Mold in the furnace closet and under the vinyl flooring about 10 sq. yards. wood and support beams rotted. Insulation damage. He also did not inform my mom the main water line to the homes water supply did not have a shut off valve that worked. The valve was made of PVC and would not move with out a lot of force that would bust the pipes. And the plumber we hired to fix the problem had no idea how to turn the main line valve off from under ground.
Took 30 days to get the park to come shut off the main water line. It was a thermal box just above ground, under the house that had a heat rod, A nut on the heat rod was to turn off the water from main line.

Another house had mold all over in the attic and a leaking roof they missed when doing a inspection in the winter, the kitchen was all water damage and needed a total repair. We was told by the owner that a sink pipe broke. My mom almost paid 50k for it, It was removed from the park the next few month. But the home inspector said he would buy it for his mom.

I also accused the ww2 or Koran war, ex navy retiree that all that mold probably help kill his wife who died of lung cancer. I could see small dots of the black mold on the ceiling joints where the walls and ceiling joined. I was then kicked out of his Mobil home by the old rip off sailor.

When we when back to finalize the deal, the weather warmed up and water was running down and inside the kitchen walls and pooling water was at the base of the cupboards and walls.

They got paid for their very poor expert advice. and highly recommended on the inter net and communities.
 
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CCWorks

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So I be sure that if you did a inspection of that place, and had other contractors come out and quote jobs, you need to be much more accrete at your evaluations and estimates, or lose money on the job or get sued in court for bad craftsman's ship. I could see you charging them 1% of cost or $1,000.00 + for quote and contacting, summiting the insurer to cut a approved work order.
 
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Mama Fen

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Hi there,

I'm an estimator of water and fire damage restoration company. Few months ago, my client got a damage on his property and we got a contract. (somebody crashed a building with a car) And for few months, we have found, communicated and arranged schedules with all sub-contractors such as glass company, plumbing, electric and etc and estimated and negotiated with an adjuster. And few month later, it was approved based on my estimate by the insurance company and an owner of the property received a check. The only thing left were just to pay to the sub contractors and arranging a schedule. And then the owner changed his mind and suddenly terminated us with no reason. And he hired other, "cheaper" sub contractors and completed the job to take the difference including O&P. As a result, we have been working for few months for nothing! we haven't received even a penny. I asked an adjuster to help us out and he didn't want to involve at all. In this case, what can we do..?

I found a contract of a Public Adjuster on Google and it has a clause saying (I don't remember exactly but it was like) "If it is approved by the insurance company based on my(public adjusters) estimate, the homeowner is responsible to pay 20% of the estimate". Does having this kind of clause actually work when i'm terminated for no reason?

Please give me an advise! Thank you.
Oh, he had a reason all right. I'd bet the farm that he found someone else to do the work for less, meaning he hopes to pocket the remainder himself. This happens a LOT in our area, if the company hasn't taken the proper steps to wrap up the deal.

The key word here is contract.

Do you, in fact, have a written, signed, legally-binding contract with the property owner?

Do you have a work authorization?

Pictures of before/after with notes, invoices for materials and labor, etc?

If so, then it's time to go to court with the property owner (who is guilty of insurance fraud, more likely than not, if he took the check and is shopping the job out to someone else).

You have done work. You are not being paid. 'Nuff said.
 
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awratchford

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We have a legally binding contract that entitles me to 35% if you get stupid. I keep my attorney ready for such crap. Everything I do is done in writing, xactimate quotes, contract, punch tickets, everything. Copied to insurance and homeowner. We get a percentage of money before any work starts. I'm not getting burned on that
 
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CCWorks

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Jan 3, 2010
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When we try to sell and buy a house. We had to and wanted to get a home inspection. The cost to have some one come out for about one hour cost about $200.00 to $300.00, and they seem to miss a lot of problems when my mom bought a trailer. It cost me a lot of time and tools to fix what the home inspector missed. over $2000.00 in repairs I had to make.

He missed duct work under the mobile house trailer. Cost to have a contractor come out was about $300.00 to connect a 24" x 20' ventilation flex tube. A cat or something dug under ground and made a home in the flex tube duct work.
Had to buy a power washer and power wash the feces away from under the home.

Missed a water line leak to a refrigerator. Mold in the furnace closet and under the vinyl flooring about 10 sq. yards. wood and support beams rotted. Insulation damage. He also did not inform my mom the main water line to the homes water supply did not have a shut off valve that worked. The valve was made of PVC and would not move with out a lot of force that would bust the pipes. And the plumber we hired to fix the problem had no idea how to turn the main line valve off from under ground.
Took 30 days to get the park to come shut off the main water line. It was a thermal box just above ground, under the house that had a heat rod, A nut on the heat rod was to turn off the water from main line.

Another house had mold all over in the attic and a leaking roof they missed when doing a inspection in the winter, the kitchen was all water damage and needed a total repair. We was told by the owner that a sink pipe broke. My mom almost paid 50k for it, It was removed from the park the next few month. But the home inspector said he would buy it for his mom.

I also accused the ww2 or Koran war, ex navy retiree that all that mold probably help kill his wife who died of lung cancer. I could see small dots of the black mold on the ceiling joints where the walls and ceiling joined. I was then kicked out of his Mobil home by the old rip off sailor.

When we when back to finalize the deal, the weather warmed up and water was running down and inside the kitchen walls and pooling water was at the base of the cupboards and walls.

They got paid for their very poor expert advice. and highly recommended on the inter net and communities.
I probably should not have said what I said about the older man, it was the inspector that said the water damage in the kitchen was from a busted pipe. but the day my mom was going for the last visit, the owner never said anything, I just happed to see running water along the cupboards base. It was really hard to see it too.

They also had a humidifier connected to the furnace and set at 70% humidity to what helped the mold grow.

In the spring, the roof had shingles you could see, that where curled and broken. the roof was neglected for many years after the shingles should have been replaced.

The only reason I disrecpected the vetren was the fact he did not tell us the roof was in such bad condition, and denied the fact I pulled mold off the ceiling. And if it was not for me, My mon would have paid for the place.

=============

As for the floor I had to fix, it was my first job doing something like that and I had 48 hours before the floor crew came to lay down carpet and vinyl through the house. We had a active water leek from a tube that could not be shut off, from what I knew and the Plummer said he been doing plumbing for over 20 years, but not many mobile homes..
The floor guys did not say anything about the work I did as it seem to be just as what any other person doing that kind of job would have done. it was more like 40 sq ft that needed wood. but to do the room with matching vinyl, the job would have been the whole room, and that was about 100 sq. ft. for a small laundry room.
 
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