If you happen to be among the group of people who believe that Ladder Assist is not gaining ground within the Insurance Claims Industry then it is time to take a closer look.
Ladder Assist Companies earned in excess of an estimated $350 million in 2014 by gobbling up roof claims assignments that would otherwise be found in the inventories of Property Claims Adjusters.
Ten years ago we had only one official Ladder Assist company and that was run by Pilot for Allstate Ins. but today we have:
Assist All, Austin SW Ladder Assist, Camco, Certified Ladder Assist, Cornerstone, Delta Claims Svs, First Choice Ladder Assist, GRIP, Hancock Claims Consultants, KMK, Ladder Assist Pro, Ladder Assist Team, Ladder Now, Manta, Maxus, Miller Enterprises, MT Ladder Assist, Property Medic, Southern Roof Tops, Superior Roof Support, TruLine Roof Consultants…
…and more throwing their hat into the ring every day.
The facts are loud and clear, indicating that the growth climate of these service organizations could not be more perfect:
Fact # 1 – The days of the 4/12 Ranch style houses are dead and no longer a part of the modern housing construction industry.
Like it or not, the simple but efficient 4/12 pitched Ranch style home roofing system has now been surpassed by mega pitched architectural master works that now dominate the modern housing construction industry. Shame on you (and me) for the foolish assumption that shedding water would always be priority one with respect to roof system design because today’s priority is all about catering to the uneducated masses who want the curb appeal that these cut-up leak monuments provide.
Fact # 2 – The majority of Property Adjusters do not have the genetic make-up and appropriate physical attributes to negotiate the physical and psychological demands of hands-free suspension while scoping a roof of 12/12+ pitch.
The Ladder Assist solution for this is all about the careful selection of its workforce:
Look at a representation of the average Property Adjuster and you will see a 40 – 60 yr old worker that is 50lbs over weight with mild to moderate height phobia, no rope access training, equipment or any form of managed fall protection plan.
Look at the average Ladder Assist worker and you will see a 20 – 40yr old, fearless worker, of appropriate height to weight ratio, appropriately trained, equipped, and supervised within a legitimate managed fall protection program.
Fact # 3 LIABILITY, LIABILITY, LIABILITY
Ladder Assist organizations manage their liability in several different ways:
For liability resulting from personal injury they use an independently contracted work force that is required to provide their own individual LLC. Simply put, if you own your own company then you are your own employee and therefore exempt from OSHA 1926.5 “General Duty Clause” regulation for providing fall protection. Furthermore, many LA organizations also require their workers to provide their own workman’s comp insurance.
For liability resulting from damage to people and property, LA organizations require each independently contracted worker provide their own two million dollar liability policy that specifically names LA organization and provides a shield for their clients in the event of an injury or damage related incident.
For liability from lawsuits resulting from meritless work product the LA companies guarantee that all information on the roofing system will be gathered from the roofing system and appropriately reviewed for compliance prior to being handed over to insurance adjuster…
QUESTION: How does the responsibilities of a Ladder Assist worker compare with the responsibilities of a Property Claims Adjuster?
ANSWER: Very similar with respect to gathering all pertinent information about the roofing system needed to justify claim payment decisions. Some LA contracts have even expanded to include gathering information related to lower elevation exposures.
Most Ladder Assist workers today are in fact licensed property adjusters that are Haag certified with a solid background related to the roof system claims industry.
I personally (a 16yr Veteran of the Claims Industry) have had the privilege of following some of these LA workers through their daily work routine and what I witnessed was nothing short of astounding:
· Hyper organized work trucks prepared with all the tools needed to tackle even the most complicated roof structures.
· Well-orchestrated routines for documenting storm damage (or lack thereof) that seamlessly transfers the merits of roof system conditions to those they serve.
· A “No Structure Is Too Tall or Too Steep” mentality, I literally witnessed a LA worker use his Cougar Paw work boots in the most unique manner TO WALK UNASSISTED UP 28 FOOT OF A 21/12 (60°) PITCHED SLOPE!!!
Add all of this information up and it is easy to see why Independent Adjusters and the IA companies they serve could and in all probability will see more and more of their roof claims disappear from their inventories.
QUESTION: What is the earning potential of a Ladder Assist worker?
ANSWER: For the full time LA worker living within a major metropolitan area, affiliate with a reputable LA company around $100K after the deduction for work related expenses however, this can be achieved from home base without all the expenses associated with living on the road. Ladder Assist Companies pay around an average of $100 - $150 per assist however, it is important to note that the work required on a standard storm claim is just a fraction of what is required of a Property Claims Adjuster.
My professional opinion on this matter is that the IA industry will eventually take note of this shift and reorganize their own workforce to be more competitive with the service and protection that LA organizations now offer. I would highlight the word "Eventually" because I know that implementing this kind of change will require them to overcome the many barriers of political correctness such changes will require. Isn’t it funny how gravity recognizes ability yet cares so little about the details of gender, age and ethnicity....