Closing the Gap – Part 12

One Barrier

Over the last several postings, we’ve discussed 10 challenges facing the insurance industry and the restoration industry.  They are

  • A stratified insurer market
  • Three parties to a transaction
  • What is the ‘insurance promise’?
  • Whose contract matters?
  • What does ‘choice’ really mean?
  • Who really knows disaster restoration?
  • Onsite evaluation
  • Structural market imbalance
  • Value justification
  • Who defines ‘best practices’ or ‘standard of care’?

I am sure there are more, but those are 10 that occur to me and sit, to some degree, at the intersection of our two industries, though we really participate in one larger industry, just from two different business models and perspectives.  That is why the single, most critical barrier that inhibits progress to shrinking the gap between insurers and restorers is so ironic. It’s because we don’t talk to one another.

Now I don’t want to suggest that individuals literally don’t talk to one another. Of course we do. Restorers talk to insurers as individuals all the time on job sites, at local claims association meetings, on the phone discussing payment, or scope, or coverage, perhaps even over lunch.  But institutionally and as industries, we don’t converse.  If you attend PLRB, you will find hundreds of restoration professionals plying their wares, but will find very few restorers in any educational sessions, and you will not find a Town Hall Meeting where restorers and insurers can discuss issues pertinent to them both.  At RIA, you will find several insurers trying to sell restorers on their various property, environmental and liability programs on the trade show floor, and periodically there will be a panel discussion like there was in Colorado Springs this past Spring.  But there was only one carrier represented in Colorado and I expect they did not feel comfortable speaking for the entire insurance industry, nor should they have been expected to.

The bottom line is we talk a lot about each other, but we don’t to talk to each other.

Now before we can propose solutions to any of these challenges, there are three set of facts that must be well understood.

(To be continued…)

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