Ask APEX : The Value of Third Party Evaluation
By Ken Larsen
“Competition is healthy – unless there is a conflict of interest. Then it becomes unethical and destructive.”
Last month we identified three demographics found in most industries – including the general contracting business: 1. Those who are competent experts, 2. Those who are “crooks,” and 3. Those who are naively incompetent.
We also identified why insurers firmly insist upon the use of their “preferred vendors.” The contractors have agreed – in writing – to concessions in prices and processes necessary to repair the structures the insurance companies insure thus increasing the insurance company’s profitability.
APEX proudly declares their refusal to participate in ANY Preferred Vendor Program. APEX works for YOU!
It can be difficult to keep emotions in check when you perceive a conflict of interest carried by the entities you are forced to work with.
APEX understands and provides a solution to minimize this understandable sentiment.
Conflicts of Interest Abound in Insurance Claims!
Let’s take time to face the obvious truth:
Insurance Claims Representatives are employed to manage (reduce?) financial exposure for their employer. That might not be in the property owner’s best interest. They’re conflicted.
Contractors (like APEX) are typically “for profit” corporations! Contractors might be inclined to seek the maximum revenue and profit from a project rather than what the project actually “needs.” They’re conflicted.
Property owners (the insured) are typically annoyed at the inconvenience of their home being damaged – as well as attracted to the prospect of getting their home “upgraded.” They too are conflicted.
And then there is one of the most important conflicts common to a property insurance claim: a “competitive quote” by another contractor. Make no mistake – there is a very real issue when an insurance company sends a second contractor to your property. The second contractor possesses one of the biggest conflicts possible as they possess the prospect of referrals directly from the insurance representative.
The Registered Third Party Evaluator (RTPE)
Only an individual possessing the industry’s HIGHEST levels of formal education, in conjunction with (usually) decades of restoration experience, an adherence to a strict Code of Conduct and no possibility of financially benefiting from the decisions made on the structural repairs can truly be trusted to render a compelling conclusion on the needs of the project.
A registry exists of such individuals who pledge to “represent the needs of the structure rather than the interests of the individuals involved. In South Walton that individual is Ken Larsen, CR, WLS, CMP, CSDS. Ken provides this independent service for consumers seeking an independent expert to assist in establishing the repair needs on your property. His list of qualifications is long – and impressive – and available through APEX. His professional fees can even be submitted as part of your insurance claim.
With so many obvious conflicts of interest during an insurance claim, a level playing field is difficult but important to find.
You can always trust APEX Disaster Specialists. But if you want to be sure any contractor or claims representative on your property is competently evaluating the needs of your property, – we invite you – the insurance claims representatives – and even our local competition to engage a non-conflicted industry expert in the discussions.
APEX proudly uses RTPEs whenever necessary. You can learn more at www.registeredtpe.com