Andy Gurczak 0:00
So something we do once we settle a claim is we ask the insurance, how do we recover? How does our client recover the depreciation? Okay, well, we’re gonna need a certificate of completion or we’ll need an invoice great if they start making demands that are not in a policy, and our client says, Hey, I sent them an invoice that they’re saying I need receipts and I gotta show them every penny I spent. Okay, let me reach out to the adjusters. Let me talk to them because unless it states in a policy something, which is why we asked for it before the client does the work, so they understand what needs to be provided. Right if they’re start saying you need receipts and you’d all this stuff, anything that they’re asking outside of the policy there is unreasonable demand, which is which is per statute in every state is illegal. They can’t make unreasonable demands but yet they do. They ask for stuff that’s not in a policy all the policy usually states is that the repairs have to be complete.
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J Darrin Gross 1:14
Welcome to Commercial Real Estate Pro Networks, CRE PN Radio. Thanks for joining us. My name is J. Darrin Gross. This is the podcast focused on commercial real estate investment and risk management strategies. Weekly, we have conversations with commercial real estate investors and professionals who provide their experience and insight to help you grow your real estate portfolio.
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Today, my guest is Andy Gurczak. And he is the founder of All City Adjusting a licensed Public Adjusting firm, and he immigrated to America from Poland with his family at the age of nine. And after working in the construction industry, more specifically Fire Restoration, he discovered his true calling public adjusting. This discovery was largely thanks to herb Johnson, the first African American public adjuster in Illinois who took Andy under his wing.
And just a minute we’re gonna speak with Andy about the benefits of a public adjuster and why you should have one on your team. But first, a couple of things you can help us out with if you like our show, CRE PN Radio. If you do like the podcast, please consider subscribing. And also like and sharing the program where you can. And as also, we always encourage our listeners to leave a comment, we’d love to hear from our listeners. Also, if you want to see how handsome Our guests are, be sure to check out our YouTube channel. You can find us on YouTube at commercial real estate pro network. And while you’re there, please subscribe. With that, I want to welcome my guest. Andy, welcome to CRE PN Radio.
Andy Gurczak 3:18
Darrin, thank you so much for having me on. I appreciate it. Thanks for that bio.
J Darrin Gross 3:22
Yeah, well, I’m, I am really looking forward to our conversation. Because, you know, I’m an insurance broker and, and your world mind kind of cross path quite a bit and, and so the more I can learn and and recognize the the services you provide, can be more beneficial for my clients. But before we get started, if you could take just a minute and share with listeners a little bit about your background.
Andy Gurczak 3:49
Correct. So I wasn’t as you kind of mentioned in the intro, I was in construction, restoration, had my own company, and then kind of shifted into public adjusting when I met her Johnson, who you mentioned, who was a big influence on me and kind of taught me the business. He was actually in the industry for about over 40 years. So he learned everything new everything. So, you know, I was fortunate enough to get 40 years of education and about two, three years. And that brings me to today where no we’re licensed Public Adjusting companies serving 14 states with a big staff and kind of specializing in large losses, especially fires, Commercial Roofing large water losses and, and other losses like that.
J Darrin Gross 4:34
Awesome. So you mentioned herb in and, you know, I’m just kind of curious from going from construction into this. You know, insurance is always considered the sexy, exciting world. And certainly claims aren’t. You know, I wouldn’t think that people would go wow, I want to get into that today, but was it the DRI in
Andy Gurczak 4:59
I was so we went He’s already doing restoration. And when I started talking to herb, and he explained to me what what he does, and I kind of knew a little bit about what he does, because he worked with some contractors, and when clients ask them for referrals, he referred them especially in Illinois, a contractor can refer or public adjuster can refer contractors. So I actually met him on the job. And he kind of explained to me what he does, and really liked what he did. I mean, he, he was able to help people really recover money, get bigger settlements. So everything that he kind of did, and he explained to me through my interest, and just kind of took a liking into it. And I was fortunate enough that he was kind of on his way out retiring, and kind of took me under his wing.
J Darrin Gross 5:42
No, that’s awesome. Big credit to him. So yeah, well, it’s how lucky were you to have somebody that with so much experience that was willing to take you and teach you and get started that
Andy Gurczak 5:55
took me took me I think almost two years to get him on my team.
J Darrin Gross 6:00
Really was very,
Andy Gurczak 6:00
I was very persistent, correct. He didn’t originally want to help me or want to teach me Yeah, I was a little guy. I was young, I was my 20s, early 20s. So he didn’t really want to help me. Kind of persistence. And eventually he said, Okay, now, I’ll take care of the wind and kind of show you that business. So
J Darrin Gross 6:19
Well, let’s start with just what is the difference between a company adjuster and a public adjuster? I mean, you know, in, from my perspective, as an insurance broker, you know, when a fire happens, or in fire is probably the easiest example that we can use. Fire Department shows up, they put out the fire, you’re aware of it, call your insurance agent, the agent turns in the claim, company adjuster shows up, maybe meets with contractors, the fire department, make an offer, and then, you know, pay a partial settlement. And then, you know, wait for you, the the insured to try and figure out the balance of it, put it back together? How? How, you know, if that’s the normal working through a company adjuster, how is it that a public adjuster works differently? Or, or are you different?
Andy Gurczak 7:14
So let’s start with everyone that shows up to the property, whether it’s the contractor, the vendors, the adjuster, whether it’s company independent, everyone’s working for that insurance company, and everyone’s getting paid by an insurance company. So everyone’s interest is the insurance company or bottom dollar. Whereas we only can work for the insurer. And our interest is the insured and to get them an exome. And to make sure that his claim is sold properly, not only for the for the max amount, but in a timely manner. Did it gets paid? Right? Not six months, but rather three or two months. So we can’t work for the insurance company per license and per state guidelines, we can only represent the insured.
J Darrin Gross 7:57
Got it? So it what would point or you know, how does one go about recognizing or deciding that they need a public adjuster?
Andy Gurczak 8:07
So most clients will call us once something’s happened. So let’s just say a claim is being handled for two or three months. And they start researching why what’s going on? Why are they not talking to me? Why are they low balling me what’s going on? They started researching. And that’s when they find us, for our long term clients, that we’ve had yarn busters or landlords or business owners, you know, they’ll call us as soon as something happens. And that’s really when you want to call a PA, if I can give anyone any advice, have a PA on your team, if it’s a real estate, and if you don’t have a real estate team. And either way, you want to call that pa right away and have them inspect it and make sure that it’s an insurable loss, and then have him call that claim and because he will say everything the right way, he will set the reserves the right way. And that way, your claim from from a to, from the beginning to the end will get claimed will get handled fairly, but not only fairly, you get a max settlement, you’ll get everything your old there is going to be no you know, lowball offers or anything like that.
J Darrin Gross 9:09
Let’s talk a little bit about that. Because I think that one of the frustrations that most people have is that they buy insurance their whole lives. And maybe once in a blue moon, they they have the need to use it or have a claim. And it’s in that moment that all of a sudden they’re in this world of you know, nothing seems like what they bought. Things don’t work the way they thought. I think most people have this notion that the insurance company the injure, the adjuster is going to come with a toolbox and fix whatever the problem is and put it all back together. How How is it that you guys are able to? I mean, can you expand a little bit on that as is the fact that you’re in this all the time that you know these insurance companies you know, the way they want to work is it tell me a little bit more about how it is You are able to, you know, speak the insurance lingo or get that maximum settlement.
Andy Gurczak 10:07
Let’s start with what you said were clients say, you know, we get that all the time. We’ve paid insurance, 20 years, 30 years, and now they’re doing this to us. They’re not as we tell our clients all you are as a number. There is no more hate is Mr. Jones is this Mr. Jones of care, here’s our adjuster that lives two blocks away. And he’s been in the construction industry and, and everyone knows each other, that those days are gone, the new adjusters are, are fresh out of college. And all they get is here’s what we don’t pay for. Here’s a list. We don’t pay for this. Why don’t you pay for this? If it’s if the clients Oh, well, we just don’t pay for it. It’s in our guidelines. It’s not in the policy, though. So the insurance, and we talked about this before the show has shifted right from that we want to take care of the client, we have eye for coverage. Now they have an eye for denial. And we’re seeing it every day. agents like yourself, and other agents are calling us for their clients. Agents aren’t supposed to call pas, but they are because a good agent wants to help their client. And if you insure them, well, they should be covered for their loss. But they’re not. They’re being denied. They’re being investigated. We have clients that have gone through three examinations under oath, clients have been denied because they filled the proof of last one, like they were like someone who would have shown them how to fill that out. You know, when what makes us different is construction is just one set, right? Everyone in our in our office has somehow done some kind of construction. So that helps when we’re writing estimates, and we’re negotiating what the damages, but then you have policy interpretation, knowing the policy, most adjusters 99% of them don’t even know the policy, when we ask, Hey, where’s it in the policy? Well, let me request the policy, let me look for it. They don’t even know we have one last where they literally quoted a denial. And then when we asked for the policy, that that exclusion wasn’t in the policy, they literally just use an exclusion from another policy.
J Darrin Gross 12:10
No, I that does not even surprise me. I know I’ve personally have bought a policy only to get a a separate form. delivered to me and and you know, not able to make sense of what is kind of thing. So there’s a lot of a lot of words.
Andy Gurczak 12:30
It’s supposed to be easy language, right? Where the consumer is supposed to understand it. But if you read a policy, I mean, that language is, isn’t it for an attorney, the attorney might have a hard time reading that language.
J Darrin Gross 12:40
Ya know, I’ve had many attorneys call me asking what is and that. And I think that the the big picture that I’ve come to understand is a lot of the words are left to interpretation. And depending on who’s reading the words, can influence the interpretation. So if you have a shift in the mindset of the whoever the manager or the claims department is at the particular company, they can say, well, we don’t do that anymore. And, and but that’s why courts exist. And a lot of times in a lot of that lot of an insurance policy has been perfected in court. Because it’s a challenge. And that’s that’s how you get to the you know, what, what is the standard thing? So, so we’ve talked a little bit about the the claim and you guys coming in and working with the customer? And then you take over the negotiations in is that we
Andy Gurczak 13:38
do we take over a discussion of the policy discussion of the settlement for whatever coverage we’re, we’re we’re taking care of, yes, we We handle everything. So our client is kind of on that. On the side, they get their updates, we actually have a CRM program now that allows our clients to actually follow the claim as we work it to kind of follow where we’re at with the claim the emails, we send them the phone comment the phone conversations we have with the insurance company, they actually get to see what we’re doing. And that way they can kind of stay up to date on how the claims being handled.
J Darrin Gross 14:09
And then do you also contract with the providers to rebuild or
Andy Gurczak 14:14
so we have the construction, we always start clients. You can you’re free to call whoever you want. Let’s get the claim settled. Once you have that settlement, that’s your settlement, then you can get bids, but that settlement is yours. Right? Because the restoration guys are smart. They know. They don’t have contracts that stayed in the mount, they just say we will do everything that insurance pays for which is 100% of your settlement. Whereas we asked our Utah clients, why don’t you use that same contractor to get you an estimate they won’t. But most other contractors will come in and their bids are going to be way lower than our thumbs.
J Darrin Gross 14:52
So let’s walk through that one more time because I think this is kind of a, again, the person that just had the fire and it just kind of Have a state of shock, doesn’t know what to do. And they’ve turned in something to the insurance company. Now they’re finding out that, you know, there’s there’s all sorts of additional steps. Alright, you guys work with the insurance company for a number to put the put the property back together. Right. Alright. And how has that number generated? Are you working up an estimate? Or is the insurance company working up an estimate? Is there a contractor that’s involved to work up the estimate?
Andy Gurczak 15:28
That’s an awesome? That’s a really good question. So there is a program that 90% of the insurance company use, which is called executive aid, which is the program we use to build our estimates on. There is another program that in some insurance companies have moved on to, but we do use a program. The difference is, how are you trained in that program, because that program is just a tool and some losses. In some, for example, fires, you have to get bids, because this is just a program that is a guideline tool, which a lot of insurance companies do and say, well, this program is saying we only did this amount is this is what we pay for. Well, that’s not true, because everyone in this market is is charging double. So sometimes we have to get we do have to get bids from contractors, especially on commercial losses. That’s when you want to bid. So that’s when we actually have to go out, meet with contractors and get bids and put our stuff together to make sure that our client is getting the right amount.
J Darrin Gross 16:23
Okay, so the exact domain is like a starting point, like a like a blue book on a car value,
Andy Gurczak 16:30
guideline of what we how we come to an agreement, and then we can adjust the numbers in there. But it’s kind of the middle where we, where we start off
J Darrin Gross 16:38
at, okay, and then the contractor estimates are what, what it’s likely to be what it would mean, if the contractor was hired, they would put it back together for that price.
Andy Gurczak 16:49
Correct. So we, when we get beds, it’s usually for specialty trades, meaning all the beds of you, if you’re how old house is on fire, and you had a fire and we adjust that the amount you have for that loss is going to be much, much more significant than any other contract. If you get bids, that’s just that’s guaranteed. What happens is, in some cases where we have a foundation commercial foundation loss, well, we know the system has given us an estimate of 50,000. But it’s commercial. And this system is a residential program. So let’s get a couple bids from commercial contractors that do foundation to see to make sure that our software, whatever we did, is given us the right amount.
J Darrin Gross 17:34
Gotcha. So so we do the exact domain, we get a number, get some bids, get another number, and is in between those that you guys then work with the insurance company to get to a a settlement number.
Andy Gurczak 17:48
Correct. So whatever estimate we provide them is the number we know that the insurance out that that is the number that he needs to be fully identified to be put back. And what we tell our clients, because what a lot of what happens with a lot of people there, so they, they hear, okay, well, I had to fire the insurance company saying they have a contract, or they’re gonna he’s gonna go and he’s going to do everything. And then I say, Okay, well, why don’t you let us handle the loss and negotiate it? Once we get you your settlement? Why don’t you get bids from that same contractor and a couple other ones? Well, that contracts are saying you guys charge a fee. Yeah, we charge a fee. But our fee is not 100%. Because that is what the contractors their vendors are taking, they’re taking every penny plus your deductible, plus any upgrades, you’re going to want to do the house, they’re going to take everything from you. And they’re in control of the money, not you. So if the work is shady, or something like that, they’re getting the checks sent to them. So you have no control over loss, you come into the house, and they’ll go, why has it taken so long? Why? Well, we’re still arguing with insurance, we think they should pay for this and they’re in control. It’s not much you can do.
J Darrin Gross 18:59
So when when someone hires a public adjuster, you do the negotiation, but then the settlement gets paid to the insured has a right
Andy Gurczak 19:09
100% Now the it’s gonna have our name on the check the insurance name on the check. And then if there’s a mortgage, the mortgage company, because that check was gonna have to go to the mortgage company, but then insured gets the check, not contractors, and then the insured who knows how much money he has, and now he can get estimates from local contractors.
J Darrin Gross 19:29
Okay, and then tell me a little bit about your guyses fee. How is that?
Andy Gurczak 19:34
So we charge a flat standard fee in every state we work it as a 10% is whatever we recover is 10%. If we come in a situation where I looked at a property yesterday, insured was got an amount and we feel there’s another 10 20,000 that they shouldn’t recover, then our fee wouldn’t be adjusted. We’ve maybe charged 2025 on the extra money we recover but not clients was Received already.
J Darrin Gross 20:01
So they received a settlement, but then you got an increase, you’d be working on just the increase or the way.
Andy Gurczak 20:09
That’s how we work Correct. Every pa does definitely some case charge more than 1020. You know, some states limit pas like Texas, the standard is 10%, you can’t charge more than 10%. And at some states, you can charge any amount just depends on the state you work
J Darrin Gross 20:24
in. Got it. So I want to back up and revisit that the point you were making about when when somebody works with the insurance company adjuster, the insurance company adjuster introduces a contractor, that contractor basically is then trying to negotiate with the insured to have them sign up to use our services is that because I think this is where it all kind of gets fuzzy. He’s like, you don’t know who the who the parties are.
Andy Gurczak 20:52
And the adjusters and everyone else is going to tell you we don’t You don’t need a PA, you don’t have to hire people. Again. That’s the whole point. There’s there’s not even anywhere that says there’s a PA people don’t even know about that service. Right. But as soon as clients starts mentioning that I might hire a third party that Oh, no, you don’t know that’s, that gets into that mess. But when it comes to the client, and the adjuster and the contractors, all those people are our they’re the contractors there for the insurance company. So what they’re doing even now is the adjusters are sending out the contractors to give them estimates. So the contractor knows that if you don’t sign this work authorization, why am I going to go and spend two hours here to estimate and do all this work, if you’re not even going to use me for the repairs, so I’m just going to put something quick together and send it to the adjuster, right? Or they’ll roll the right a low estimate, you sign a contract with them, and then they start saying to the insurance, hey, you have to pay for this, we still want this. It’s kind of like a game, it’s become, you know, who can get control of the money and be in control of the claim. So the insured is kind of left out always in the dark.
J Darrin Gross 22:00
Yeah, and again, I think it goes back to the you know, the insured his, his not familiar with how insurance works, they buy it thinking that there’s, you know, this promise of everything going to be put back together, and that the insurance companies, the good guys coming to work on their behalf. And the end of the day, the insurance companies basically checkbook, and you know, the, if they can pay less, they’re happy to pay less. And I’m not saying that they’re, they’re bad people at the insurance company, but their profit driven, like any business, profit, yeah. And if they’re paying out more than they need to, then that’s off, you know, off their top, and they’ve got investors and mandates to try and, you know, get profits and all that. So, so it is a, you know, an interesting relationship on the on the front end or the promise and, you know, like, you’re going to be in such good care and on the back end, when you’re in the throes of a claim and trying to work your way through and, and get your settlement. You see the the other side of the business. And it’s just it’s it’s different. So what did they ask you so so now we say we’re working with you, we didn’t go with the public adjuster, we didn’t go with the accompany adjuster, or we’ve turned to claim over to you, the check comes to us, you get your fee, we have this money. That’s hopefully enough to put everything back together. is you’re saying at that point, get the get the bids? Or would you
Andy Gurczak 23:38
say we advise our clients to get bids, as we’re moving the claim for to start getting bids from a GC from different subs, and just start getting estimates, but those estimates are for you, not for the insurance company out in the last year’s estimates, because I just I know and residential especially that we are going to be way higher than any estimate that you you are going to have enough more than to pay us even if we charge you 40% and still have enough money to pay those contractors off.
J Darrin Gross 24:05
Okay. And so, with the you know, the we get the bids net. And a lot of times like the way insurance companies are the way the policy is written with replacement costs. Usually the initial payment is a an actual cash value settlement. So if let’s just say for round numbers that, that the number you and the insurance company agree on is 100. That to put it back together, they’re usually going to give an initial payment of say 55 or 60. expecting that, you know they owe the balance, but you have to first put the, you know, put it back together before they’re gonna pay the balance. How do you guys work through that and how does that
Andy Gurczak 24:54
yeah, so that’s usually on a t shirt for them to do the repairs and then send a certificate of completion to it. Insurance Company, what the insurance wants to see is that you spent the money that you did the repairs, most insurance companies, as long as they see that you have a contractor, a signed contract, they can release the depreciation, some companies will want a certificate of completion. And some companies will want an invoice from the contract. And then and that all happens when the work is completed. We’re usually not involved in that process anymore.
J Darrin Gross 25:24
Okay, but but along those lines, I guess, here, here’s where I’ve seen things get complicated, is we the the numbers agreed to the contractors are involved, then all of a sudden, there’s this request for all this additional paperwork, and receipts and all this stuff in order to get the balance of the money. Do you work with your clients at all to do that? Because that’s, that seems to me that that’s, you know, if you’ve got this number you’ve agreed to how do you go about proving that the work was done? And? And are you know, are you able to to meet that number or get that number that you had originally thought you were gonna get?
Andy Gurczak 26:06
So something we do once we settle a claim there is we ask the insurance, how do we recover? How does our client recover the depreciation? Okay, well, we’re gonna need a certificate of completion, or we’ll need an invoice great if they start making demands that are not in a policy, and our client says, Hey, I sent them an invoice and they’re saying, I need receipts, and I gotta show him every penny I spent. Okay, let me reach out to adjusters let me talk to them. Because unless it states in our policy, something, which is why we ask for it before that client does the work. So they understand what needs to be provided. Right? If they’re start saying you need receipts, and you’d all this stuff, anything that they’re asking outside of the policy, there is unreasonable demand, which is which is per statute in every state is illegal. They can’t make unreasonable demands. But yeah, they do. They ask for stuff that’s not in the policy, or the policy usually state says that the repairs have to be complete.
J Darrin Gross 27:02
So this is really, I mean, anybody listening that hasn’t been through claim probably doesn’t really understand the importance of what you just said. Because the adjuster in my experience is going to ask for receipts to prove that the work was done. And, and when you do that, are you opening yourself up to additional scrutiny for to to get less than what you had already agreed to?
Andy Gurczak 27:33
Well, that’s what they’re looking for, they’re looking for, well, if we paid you 50, for that box of nails, and you only spent 25, great, you don’t have to send you to depreciation, which in our AR. And what we realize is, first of all, when we settle a loss, and we negotiate it, we’re trying to get the top actual cash value, we want the depreciation to be as low as you can, that’s something we negotiate. Because we want our clients to get as much as upfront they can as soon as possible, right. And then it comes in depreciations. Leftover is that whether you spent over whatever you did with the money, or as long as you did the repairs in the home is bad, the pre loss condition, you know, and the policy doesn’t state anything extra that you performed all your duties as the insured. And you have the right, you have to go by that policy. So what happens with insurance companies now is they say, well, the guideline is this, well, we want this and we have these demands, and we have these guidelines. We don’t none of that matters, because the policy is the binding contract you have with the insurance company, and what it states and, you know, there’s duties after Alaska you have to perform, but then they have duties as the insurance company. And if the policy states, once the repairs are complete, we will we will release the depreciation. And there’s nothing else to argue it’s, it’s in the policy.
J Darrin Gross 28:52
Got it? Well, I think that’s, that’s really, really important for people to hear and recognize that the it’s the duties. And once you’ve done the duties, you know, they have to do their duties, and you don’t have to go beyond that kind of thing. But really understanding that because it it does get into just a complete nightmare of trying to decipher the amounts and stuff if you’re trying to use the exact domain and then trying to use spreadsheets and in the payments are showing up, you know, sporadically. There’s there’s no mention as to what what they’re paying for. It’s just a number, you know, and you’re trying to account for everything.
Andy Gurczak 29:33
And here’s that here’s one thing, why why aren’t those requests asked for when the insurance vendors doing the repairs? Because when the vendor is doing the repairs, no one’s asking about receipts. No one’s asking about anything. Oh, the repairs are complete. Great. We’ll send the final amount. Why aren’t they asking how much the contractor spent their vendor spent? Right. Right. You see that that number comes into play but it’s As soon as the insured wants to go and handle his own claim and do it the right way, he gets scrutinized, and you start getting the delays and the denials and everything else. Right like that.
J Darrin Gross 30:12
That that’s, that’s very, very important. And, again, easy to get caught and has a, you know, an insured. And what’s really weird for me is I mean, having, you know, been insurance for as long as I have, you know, you kind of get indoctrinated into thinking that the company adjuster and the company and the company just turn every second take care of things, but I gotta tell you, there’s been a change in the last 30 years and the way insurance companies are handled thing and, or claims and, and it’s, it’s just, you know, you will not get what you thought you’re gonna get, or not necessarily get what you rode, if you if you try and do it all yourself, because I’ve just seen that snowball into just a, you know, just a disaster, I mean, I’ve had people, you know, try and try and be their own general and not not fully understand what it is and, and now get people involved like yourself that can actually, you know, negotiate a better settlement, and then also get the work done. At a price that, that makes sense to where I mean, at the end of the day, the what they’re owed is they want to be put back together made, made whole, that’s really if everybody was made whole, and they you know, again with that, that I think most people would be happy, they get extra than then so be it. But the reality is just to be put back to hold on, I’ve seen numerous people not not to get back to home. And that’s, that’s the real frustration.
Andy Gurczak 31:43
It’s nice to hear that from, from an agent and from people on on the insurance side, and we see it every day. And we hear no, the last 30 years have changed. And it’s only going to get worse for the insured. And we see it every because we get the calls. I can give you an example that a young lady that just called us, she had a water loss in Arizona, she has been working claimed she has been a staff adjuster for 20 years, for one of the largest army insurance companies, you probably know who we’re talking about. In the last year, she kept the same insurance with that company that she was working for 20 years. But the last year she moved on to a different insurance company. But she had the water loss with the previous one that you worked for. And she called us and she said I’d been working disclaimed three months, my own loss, my whole house got your water pipe broke, and they’re not paying for this. They’re not doing this. Three adjusters have come out. She’s like, I don’t know what to do. I’ve been doing this for this one I what is going on, I’m like, welcome to the new know, how claims are handled. The carrier she’s working for is one of the better ones that pays for everything they get. They’re really good insurance company. So I’m like, Yeah, that’s where that company and everyone else is going that route.
J Darrin Gross 32:57
Yeah. No, it’s it’s eye opening. And again, it’s kind of a shift of the tide. And I think there’s, you know, new algorithms or whatever it is that that you know, the bean counters have figured out how to make more money kind of thing and, and improve their bottom line. But, but it’s not unique. I mean, most industries go through some sort of a thing like this. But it’s just it’s frustrating when you see a change. Let me ask you this, how do the insurance companies respond or react when they realize that public adjusters and engaged?
Andy Gurczak 33:30
It depends on the insurance company and it depends on the adjuster? Mostly the adjuster, some adjusters are super happy, great, I got a PA, this is gonna go smooth. He’s gonna do all the work for me. We’re gonna meet, settle it, we’re done. Right? They like that, because they have so many claims. And most of them don’t even know how to write estimates or take them on. So they’re happy. They meet with us, they get all the documents, it goes really quick. And then you get a one out of time that goes, Well, why is that client? hire you? Why do they need you? Oh, I don’t know, because maybe you underpaid them by 100,000. All right. So it just depends on the on the adjuster, there’s a company in Illinois, I’m not going to say the name of the insurance company that’s really going after pas for some reason. And literally they will call the client and say hey, do you know why did you sign a contract with them? And what are you doing this word? I mean, it’s just it’s getting out of hand, but the Department of Insurance won’t do anything about it. So we’re kind of left in the dark, just trying to help people and then insurance company Lilly will call them and try to do everything they can to make sure they don’t use the PA I believe that on the last even they the adjuster talk to the insured the insurance or not. We’re going with Andy we’ve already discussed us he was recommended. literally the next day the agent called and said hey, I just got a call from the adjuster. Why are you going to pay him? What do you think he’s gonna get you a UTV a new thing? Correct. Yeah, that was that is happening. So unfortunately No, no?
J Darrin Gross 35:03
Well, it goes back to if there wasn’t a need in the first place, you guys wouldn’t exist. So that’s good. Hey, what is if you had to describe a an ideal opportunity for someone to, you know, engage a public adjuster? What would the ideal opportunity be? And when would you recommend that they, they engage who we’ve talked a little bit like in the risk or in the, you know, in the claim as soon as possible, but it just is, it doesn’t make sense to engage. Like, as a relationship before a claim,
Andy Gurczak 35:40
you should, if you and again, it’s hard to find a good pa right. And then not each pa does the same thing, some public justice, roofing claims, you know, residential, maybe small claims, whereas we handle large claims, that’s kind of what we focus on, since the beginning of the company. But once you have that, PA, and if you’ve done your due diligence, you know, there’s really no need to go and call around for pas, unless you’re a big real estate team, and you have an attorney, you have everyone, then maybe then you’d go and search for that PA to have on your team to be ready. Because if something does happen, you want that PA to be notified right away, you want them to go to that last, like we do inspect it and say okay, then there’s a small water lake, this is not even covered in your policy, or, Hey, this is going to not even go beyond above your deductible. So it’s not worth filing this way. Right. Whereas then we can advise, okay, this is a claim you want to file and this is how it’s going to go. So you want that pa right in the beginning. And if you’re a bitter investor, and landlord and you have other parties, then yeah, I would call around and ask friends for referrals, or look online, and interview a couple pas and make sure he’s on your team ready to go. It’s worth every penny.
J Darrin Gross 36:53
Good advice. Andy, if we could, I’d like to shift gears for a second, as I’ve mentioned, by dam, an insurance broker, and as such, I work with my clients to assess risk and determine what to do with the risk. And there’s three strategies we typically consider a first look to see if we can avoid the risk. When that’s not an option, we’ll see if there’s a way we can minimize the risk. And when avoid nor minimize or options to the risk, we look to see if we can transfer the risk. And that’s what an insurance policy is. And so to like to ask my guests, if they can look at their own situation, could be your clients, insurance companies, the interest rates, the market the public policy, however you want to frame the question, but if you can identify what you consider to be the biggest risk, and again, for clarification, while I am an insurance broker, I’m not necessarily looking for an insurance related answer. And so if you’re willing, I’d like to ask you, Andy Gurczak, what is the biggest risk?
Andy Gurczak 38:01
I think my answer if it’s not insurance related would be fear. Fear would be the biggest risk. Like you said, Fear is what holds people back is you want to transfer that risk. You said you want to minimize that risk. Fear. To me, when I look at the what’s the risk? Well, the risk is fear. If I don’t do something and being scared to go out there and do something, we’ll call that PA or to me, that’s a risk. Because your your fear is holding you back. And you’re you can’t avoid risk. Right? You can minimize it, you can transfer but you can’t avoid it. So I would I would say fear is what kind of was in my head the whole time. I don’t know if the right answer. Quick, quick answer. So
J Darrin Gross 38:54
Well, I think the important point to note is that risk is everywhere. And, you know, if fear is, I mean fear is it’s real. I mean, out there and and depending on what you’re facing, your fear can be greater or less based on your experience. And, and well, you know, are probably I would assume experience is probably one of the most beneficial you know, to any kind of situation which would kind of mitigate your, your your fear, if you’ve been through something you know, you survived it once before calling but that’s that’s good.
Andy Gurczak 39:31
What are you looking at when you’re looking to buy a property? And you know, what’s the risk when I’m looking at the property? What’s the risk? You know, I’m looking at the good and Bad’s and all the property. You know, at the end, what’s holding us back? It’s kind of the fear. You look at the risk, but it’s the fear is the main one that’s holding us back. Some people will analyze the property for weeks. Now pull the trigger, not because of the risk is this or this? It’s because that fear is the main the main No
J Darrin Gross 39:59
no, no been that guy. So well. Handy. Where can listeners go? If they would like to learn more connect with you?
Andy Gurczak 40:07
Yeah, they can check us out on Facebook, LinkedIn, on our website, all city adjusting.com. And if any of your clients or any of your sorry, any of your listeners want to call me directly, they can reach me on my cell phone. I’ll provide that for your listeners. They can call me directly text me if they want advice on claims for any help even meeting policies. They can call me directly at (708)655-4186 708-655-4186. And that’s my cell phone. So the only thing I ask is, you know, maybe don’t call me after six or 7pm anything else? Okay. Got it. Got it. And my wife gets upset.
J Darrin Gross 40:43
Yeah, I get to a&e I can’t say thanks enough for taking the time to talk today. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. Learned a lot. And I look forward to doing it again soon.
Andy Gurczak 40:56
Thank you, Darrin. I appreciate you having me on. And yeah, again, big, big thanks. And it’s nice to see, you know, agents in this industry to actually care about their clients. So it’s really good.
J Darrin Gross 41:06
And great for our listeners. If you liked this episode, don’t forget to like, share and subscribe. Remember, the more you know more you grow. That’s all we’ve got this week. Until next time, thanks for listening to Commercial Real Estate Pro Networks. CRE PN Radio.
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