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Episode #243 – Optimizing Your Insurance Claims with Andy Gurczak, Part 1

In this episode, Dan discusses the world of insurance claims with special guest Andy Gurczak from www.Allcityadjusting.com.

Andy is a public adjuster, and his role is to fight on your behalf when dealing with insurance companies. This episode sheds light on the benefits of hiring a public adjuster, the process of filing claims, and how to maximize your claim payout.

Dan and Andy share valuable insights and practical advice for real estate investors facing challenging situations with their properties. Don’t miss this informative and engaging conversation with Andy Gurczak on optimizing your insurance claims.

Stay tuned!

Show Highlights:

  • How does a public adjuster maximize your claim payout? [00:01:29]
  • Games that insurance companies play to minimize your claims [00:05:17]
  • How do insurance adjusters determine claim payouts? [00:07:15]
  • Do the company‚Äôs incentives for adjusters cut back on your payout? [00:10:35]
  • How to overcome doubters and thrive [00:17:15]
  • Do we need to worry about different state laws when handling large losses and claims? [00:22:28]

For more information about Andy Gurczak, go to https://allcityadjusting.com/

To get the latest updates directly from Dan and discuss business with other real estate investors, join the REI marketing nerds Facebook group here: https://adwordsnerds.com/group

Need help with your online marketing? Jump on a FREE strategy session with our team. We’ll dive deep into your market and help you build a custom strategy for finding motivated seller leads online. Schedule for free here: https://adwordsnerds.com/strategy

Read Full Transcript

You're listening to the REI marketing nerds podcast, the leading resource for real estate investors who want to dominate their market online. Dan Barrett is the founder of AdWords nerds, a high tech digital agency focusing exclusively on helping real estate investors like you get more leads and deals online, outsmart your competition and live a freer, more awesome life. And now, your host, Dan Barrett.

0:40 Alright, hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the REI marketing nerds podcast. As always, this is Daniel Barrett here from AdWords nerds.com. And if you need more leads and deals online for your real estate investing business, you know where to go, you go to AdWords nerds.com, you can request some time with a member of my team. And we will talk about our online marketing strategy specifically for your market. If you want to do it together. That's awesome. If not, you can take it with our blessings and go get those deals your self this week, I have a really fun interview with Andy Grgic. From all city adjusting.com.

Now Andy is a public adjuster. And if you're not familiar with a public adjuster, they're basically someone who is going to come in on your behalf and fight with your insurance company to make sure that you get the biggest claim possible when you're going through some kind of really difficult and potentially devastating situation with one of your properties or you know, a building that you own or an apartment or whatever. I mean, it's it's really incredible that this role is specifically there to help balance the scales, right. If you work with an adjuster from an insurance company, they are working for the insurance company and this is someone on your side, that's meant to kind of come in and make sure that your needs get met.

Now, I don't know a ton about insurance. I didn't really know anything about Public Adjusting when I went into this conversation with Andy. But he really laid it down in a way that was super approachable, super useful. Not only that he's a super driven, really fun, really insightful business owner. I learned a ton from this conversation and I know you will, too. So without any further ado, let's get into my conversation with Andy Grgic. From all city adjusting.com All right, what's up everybody? This is Daniel Barrett here from the REI marketing nerds podcast and with me today I have Andy Gert check from Ole city. adjusting.com. Andy, welcome to the show, man. Thank you so much for being here.

2:50 Thank you so much for having me on. We were just chatting before the the record. And that was going pretty well. We seem like we're both talkative folks. So I'm hoping this is gonna be barnburner of a kind of episode. But I'm going to ask you the boring questions before we get into it, which is you are a public adjuster. Do I have that correct? That's correct. Okay, so for people who aren't familiar, and I think a lot of investors are familiar with the insurance process and like, what the benefit of hiring a public adjuster is, but let's start with that just do some kind of basic backer first of all, what is an adjuster? Like? How does that fit? And what is the benefit of hiring a public adjuster? Like why do people come to you rather than for example, just using the adjuster that comes to them through the insurance? Yeah,

3:32 so let me explain that to like, looking at like the insurance has their own adjuster, right, the staff adjuster or the independent that they have their own contractors, their own engineers, so everyone's kind of working for the insurance company. So anyone that comes out for the insurance company is working for that private adjuster or public adjuster is licensed by the state to represent the insured and advocate for the insured because the insurance is honestly going up against against the insurance company on its own. Like think about that their adjusters coming out. And he's getting paid by the insurance company and so he's representing them but then he's also representing you. So that's that's in a conflict of interest. It's just like an attorney representing two parties. So we advocate for the insured not only to maximize the claim and make sure that claim gets paid in full and and negotiate it but also to walk that whole process from A to Z and these days it's to make sure the claim doesn't get the light delayed and then ultimately denied because majority of our calls now our clients or have had been already denied and then you know, unfortunately that it's kind of too late for us to interview

4:31 Yeah, they were with like the Insurance insurance companies. Okay, just before I call I just got a call from California, the clients that I we had a water loss February's let's just longtime we just got the letter that we'd been denied. Okay, well, that was February, we're in October, right. You know, they have a claim file on you. What are we going to do you know, where it's too late for us to get to get involved. So like, let's say someone's got something that just happened. They're thinking about making a claim is that the point where They would bring someone like you in like, where do you fit in the process? Yeah. But if someone slot you in versus because I imagine that the insurance company wants to use their in house adjusters, and that they start moving that process pretty quickly. Maybe I'm wrong about that. Where do you come into that process

5:17 so that insurance companies are always going to have their own adjuster as their own engineers their own thing, right? Because they're going to bring as many parties as they can to minimize the claim to delay. That's honestly, I mean, every claim scenario, we can show 1000s of claims, they're all the same way. They progress the same way. With us. That's that question always comes up, like when do you call them? I could tell everyone, it's like you want a PA, especially for the bosses?

Because, right, because we're majority of our clients that utilize it as investors and landlords and management companies. So we want to be on your staff before you have accountant, you have you have accounts, you have attorneys, you have contractors, you should have a PA that you've kind of interviewed, and he's already on your list when something happens because our investors will cause you will for example, you add a water loss a pipe break or something you call say, Edie Can you can you guys come out to the property?

Can you see we can file this will come out say hey, small league, y'all this is a small fix your deductible is this much. It's not even you're not going to file this, there's no reason to file just mitigate it take care of the damage. And there's nothing to pile here. Right? So the answer is as soon as possible. If you can have us on staff, great to have us on retainer or have us on call great. But the sooner the better. Don't tell the insurance. Don't talk too much. Don't try working the claim yourself. Because I honestly the claim process now it's just looking for any way they can delay a claim and ultimately deny it. Yeah, it's always been like that. It seems it seems it's getting worse every year, though.

6:42 So let me let me ask you about this. So you mentioned that a public adjuster is literally used to that, is that provided by the state like what's the relationship between public adjusters in the state and the client? Like what how does that all work? And like, where does that come from? The state the state licenses public adjusters, okay. And then the insured hires the public adjuster, right. So we work directly for the insurance, not the insurance companies. So we can only work for the insured and advocate for the insured, whether it's you know, residential, commercial properties, structure damage, and kind of different coverages that the insured has.

7:14 Okay, so now we're gonna even ask, maybe they'll get an even more basic question, which is, when you hire an adjuster, literally, what is that person doing? Like, I realize, like the role of an adjuster is basically to sort of help that claim along and understand how much the claim should pay out. And like how much you sort of want to say, is, you know, should be yours by writing all this stuff. So I kind of understand the point, but I don't understand the actual logistics of the work, right? Is it like you said, there's someone on the ground, and they're walking around the house, and they're saying, okay, you know, from what I know about this type of room, it probably cost X amount of dollars to make, and there's, you know, why about a damage? And you do a bunch of math? Like, what is the actual process? Like, yeah,

8:00 so for different coverages different claim scenarios, it's different, different avenues that we do, whether it's like, let's say you have a business, now you have a loss of income, now, we have to bring a forensic accountant to run your books to kind of come out with the math, to present the insurance, what's the actual loss of income that you're incurring, that you're owed, right, and then try to get so that's, that's one aspect, that's just one, if it's a structure your home, or let's say it's a multi unit building, bringing the right people determine like, we're doing a large fire that, you know, it's a six unit, two of the units have total loss, where they're just total gods, then the other four units have significant smoke damage,

that originally insurance just wanted to clean them, going through those four, three of those, we got them to God, and then the other ones, like a pretty much half have, right? So it's having a team so that so different coverages, it's having different experts, and different team members that can put a whole claim together, and then present the insurance company with all the documents that they need, right? Because you can you can call, then you can call a contract, or you can call anyone in the world, right? Say, I need an estimate to replace this window, but then to actually show it, why you're replacing it, why it has to be replaced, for what the like what documents, you have to go with it to support your file. That's a whole different level, right?

9:11 So it's not just like what I was saying originally, where it's like, okay, it's X amount of damage, right, and you're sort of just looking at physical damage and saying, This is what happened or whatever, you're also sort of estimating the future impact of that damage, right. So just like you said, like, if I, if I'm a landlord, and this apartment is damaged, it's gonna take me six months to get it and fix it or whatever, then I'm not just out the amount of money it takes to do that I'm out the money I would have made if that was rented is that kind of like what you're saying, it's not just what's happening now or what already happened. It's, here's the potential impact of all that and you gotta cover me for that as well.

9:49 It's what's happening now and it's what's going to happen in the future to put our client in the bus scenario like in six months, right? So if it want to make sure they maximize the claim that everything gets paid, gets paid, you know, fairly, they haven't worn enough money to rebuild and for anything else, and that, for example, now they have rentals and they're losing it, that they get loss of Brian so that we make them aware like, Okay, well, we got to negotiate this within three months, because your loss of rents is maybe only up to six months. So then you only have three months to rebuild, and then you still gotta get tenants and back, right? We want to make sure our clients are in the best view. At the end of the day, we want them to be, you know, in the best scenario they can be. So after everything's said and done,

10:27 so do you have a sense of what is the average difference in outcome? Because I think it's like, one of the things is, it's like, you know, you get older and you learn a little bit about how the world works, or whatever, right. And like, one of the things I see over and over in my life is, people's behavior follows their incentive. Right. And so it doesn't strike me as like a weird claim that if you say, oh, you know, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, and like, probably judged in some way on their performance, and like they have an incentive, whether it's conscious or not, to keep that number low, we in some way, shape or form. And I don't think that that means that those are bad people. It's just, that's the incentive. That's he whose bread I eat his song I say, right, that's how it goes. So there's probably a fairly wide difference in terms of my hire a public adjuster that's just working for me versus going with the the, the adjuster comes from the company. So do you have a sense of what that difference is, on average, I'll give you an example, the biggest insurance company in the States, you know, what they're trading, how long their trading is, before they send someone on field to your own, to be an adjuster to be an adjuster.

11:36 Three months, six months, two months, two months during your house, adjusting, no knowledge of construction, no knowledge of anything. And they're discussing a claim with me or our team, regarding what to damage, what needs to be put back with two months of with a sheet that says, you know, we don't pay for this, we don't do this, don't pay for this. That's that's who you that's who's representing the client. So, so we're we're like, so when we look at these claims, it just baffles me that people wouldn't call an adjuster or at least like the all, but again, it especially the old school mentality, I think it's changing a lot of the old school mentality was, hey, well, my agent I've known for 20 years, you know, he's a friend of my neighbor, and we all know each other, those days are gone. Those agents, they used to be like that they're gone as an agent. Now, even the older ones that are still left are just salespeople. They're just selling policies, unless they're independent. But the bigger ones, I mean, they're literally just selling a policy once a claim happens. They have the same number to the claims department that we do. Yeah, though, that tells you how much power they have.

12:40 Let's find motivated seller leads online but don't know where to start. Download our FREE motivated seller keyword report today, AdWords nerds have spent over $5 million this year researching the most profitable keywords for finding motivated seller leads. And you can grab these exact keywords when you download our report at www dot AdWords nerds.com/keywords. So well, let me let me ask a flip question, which is, how did you get into? Like, what was your entry into this industry? Like what made you get started in insurance or ingesting I wanted to do this,

13:20 I don't want to go back too far into my history. But basically, I was in construction. I was working for four gentlemen, we were doing fire restoration. And there was a PA that that came to that job, because there was some issue with the insurance that we're meeting there, but we were already doing work. And I asked my boss that then like who is that? And he's as well that's the that's the PA he's the he's the one that technically negotiated this laws. That's, you know, his job. Great. I said, Can I have his number is uh, yeah, that's fine. So he gave me his number. And I was young, I was maybe 19. And I would have for two years, I would like call him like, every day like, Hey, can you teach me the business?

You know, he wouldn't answer you'd answer, but he never blocked me. So thank God, he never blocked me. I don't think he knew how to block people. He's an older guy. But he didn't block me. So for two years, I call them and then eventually, we started our own construction company. We're running a construction company. After a year, I kind of wanted to go my own ways and kind of was still itching to get into this like a new construction. I knew restoration I knew all about was in construction pretty much my whole life. But that adjusting thing was like call my name was like, hey, I really liked this borrower.

You're not the work but actually work in the claim that Goshi ating and doing all the the back end that y'all and so I was almost given up on calling him and I'm like, You know what, no, I remember sitting my room. I was like, Hey, I'm gonna call him one more time. If he doesn't answer I'm just gonna delete his number. I'm just gonna move on and do something else ended up answering took me under his wing. And then for two to three years kind of mentored me and taught me to the entire business. So he had like, he had 40 years of experience plus, plus all the experience he had from the the guy that taught them so I mean, I got a lot of knowledge in a very short time, knowledge that people won't get their whole lifetime in this industry. So I am thankful for that. So let me ask

15:01 that. I mean, there's a bunch of stuff I want to ask about. But let's pause there for a minute. And so you called this person for two years, basically most persistently Yeah. Before they were. I mean, it's, you know, I was getting blown out, you would answer and say, Oh, I don't got time, or you would just go to, like, restraining order territory, but you don't call me tomorrow, tomorrow, like, Oh, my God, I couldn't text him because he didn't tag so well. So, like, son. But

15:32 I mean, I want to ask about that. Because I do think that it's a, it is a recurring theme on this. I've had a lot of people on the podcast for several years in now and had a lot of really successful people on the podcast. And it is a, it is a common theme. This chapter in the story, which is I'm asking for thing, ideas, and nobody's given it to me. And I have to just keep at it for an extended period of time, like well beyond, where most people would be like, This guy is not going to pick up the phone. Right? Like maybe five times in, I would have been like, I should probably stop calling this guy. Right. So I want to ask about that. Is that just part of your personality? And you're like, I've always been like that. Is that something you learned? Like, where does that thing come from? And does it show up elsewhere in your life? Does that make sense? I think a lot

16:23 of entrepreneurs have that. I like the no meter, the more you tell me no, the more I'm just gonna be like, no, no, no, I'm gonna now you told me no, that means yes. Somehow, I'm gonna get there. And I and we, that that mentality is I brought to the company and like, instilled that into our, our whole team is, you know, if the insurance company says no, no, we don't do this. We don't do that just tells me Okay, all right. Now it's gonna get real fun. Like now, the more you told me know, the more I'm gonna find reasons to say yes. And to get a claim paid. And yeah, that's just and that's kind of my whole life. So anytime I hear no on is like, Oh my god. Alright, just another obstacle. That's all it is. Right? How many you look at look like entrepreneurs or founders, like the founder of Starbucks, I forget how many banks you went to or, you know, before he actually got a loan? And, you know, everyone, I mean, there's, you could go down the line. It

17:13 is, it's, I don't think it's just me, it is really fascinating, right? It's like, I think you can be if everything goes your way, you can be successful without that, right? If it's just you, whatever, all everything's in your favor, right. But for the vast majority of people, you're trying to do something new or exciting. You're trying to build the thing, most people are going to be like, Well, you can't do that, because it would have existed already. Right? So it's to kind of like people to have that mentality so that the urge to tell people no is very high. It's just you run into it. And the people that don't fight through it in some way, shape, or form, bounce off, and I don't know go work at Starbucks or go do something else. Right? They just don't do that particular thing for which

17:51 there's nothing right. You know, there's nothing wrong with that. Right? Oh, go and work for someone and work in whatever field you work in. I just my mentality is I just I've been told no. So many times from a young child, you know, for being young, that it just got to me, we're okay. Just no means. Yes. But not right away. Like, you know, it's funny, because I have two boys and right now I tell them no, all the time, like no, because, you know, they're monkeys. I say no. And I'm like, in my, in the back of my mind. I'm like, I keep telling them. No, I wonder if they're gonna grow up like me. And then always think like, No, you know what? Maybe he means yes, I just got to do it a little bit differently. So well, okay, so how old are your kids? six and three. And I got one more. Two weeks away. One more boy.

18:30 Oh, wow. Congrats. Yeah, thanks. All right. Thank you. That's cool. And that's a good, those are good age gaps, too. I think that's, I think so we'll see. And I know, mine are seven and nine. Alright, so so, you know, we started a little bit earlier before you but you know, whenever you got another one come in, so that we got a dog instead. So that's what it is. The it's funny that you mentioned that because it's like, I would say waivers of ABS would be like, like the other the other day, my son came up to me and he was like, Dad, can I have he had like some Halloween candy or wherever, from a friend. And he's got these two pieces of candy. And they're like burning a hole in his brain. Like he can't not think about candy comes up to me yesterday. And he's like, Dad, can I have a piece of candy? This is like at 630 in the morning, right? I'm like, No,

19:22 of course, because they always it's either early or very late at night. Yeah, like just trying to make the coffee. And I'm like, No, you can't ever be scanning. He's like it. He is like, I hear you. But he is like, I have an extra piece. I'll give it to my brother. I'll get it out of the house. So you won't have to complain about that. Either Danny's like, I'll get it out of the house or you won't need it. And then I want to ask you again later in the day. And I was like, this is a really good argument. Yes, you could have a reason. Like my wife gives us there's just like, why are they eating candy? I'm like, I made a really strong argument. Like that's all I care about. So tell me about all city. So the company just took remind everybody, it's all city adjusting, and you can get there at all city adjusting.com. So you have this thing, you had this experience, you're calling the public adjuster guide, you finally like kind of hook up and started learning the thing. It was all city, the company that you originally were at originally, did the formation of the company have it later? Like, what's the story with the author?

20:23 Yeah. So the first two, three years, I was working under with Herb under his license, and he was teaching me everything, my mentor, Herb, he was teaching me everything. And then three, I think three years into it, and 2000 is 2010, or something like that, or 2000. Sorry, something around that time doesn't that does a fourth key in that time, we incorporated and that incorporated two or three adjusting. And then since then, it's all been like growth, right? How do we grow into the biggest field? Because our entire goal here is how do we go into the business pa firm, and help as many people as we can, with the best team and don't lose that service? Right as companies grows, and as they lose that touch, we want to grow, but grow well enough where we can still help everyone.

And, you know, we've been able to grow and scale the business now to 31 states, we cover 31 states, we specialize in large loss, large fires, even residential losses, large water losses, you know, we'll take smaller losses as well for our long term clients. But the large losses is where we can shine, we can deploy our whole team, whether it's forensic accountant, whether it's our own engineers, we have a whole team behind each claim, which is great. We have a staff we can we have a CRM that updates our clients, and we're trying to scale and scale and really encompass the whole the whole adjusting business into one.

21:46 So maybe I have a bunch of questions about that. So famously, my business is the internet. Right? So I was my mom still doesn't know what I do. It just all feels very, you know, up in the air 31 states is a lot of states, right? And they gotta, like you said, there's people on the ground in you know, we were talking about setting up offices and all this stuff. So I want to ask about the challenges of that type of business. Is that like, so? To me, it seems so spread out so difficult, and you can't be everywhere at once? And is that a challenge? Or is it the kind of thing where you're like, Oh, we just have a system, we can roll it out every time what is like being in a business that's in so many places, geographically walks,

22:28 it's not an issue at all. Because when you handle a large loss, and when you handle certain types of claims, no matter what state it is, obviously, each state has different statutes and laws pertaining to insurance companies and how claims get handled. So we know those statutes, but pretty much every claim gets handled the same way for us from start to finish, it's pretty much the same way. So we can deploy our team wherever financially doesn't matter what state we go into. Because once once we go into a size of a claimant up, we know that financially makes sense for us, and it's going to make financially obviously always makes financial sense for our client, because we were going to bring value to their client all the time.

So no, and in the beginning, we were trying to stay local. But then again, as our clients grew and majority of our clients have become, like I mentioned investors and landlords. And as they grew and grew their portfolio. For example, one of our clients like, Okay, we have a loss here, we had a fire in this state, oh, shoot, well, we're not licensed in that state. Okay, well, let's think about grow into that state. So we kind of grew with our clients. So that's our clients grew, we grew with them. And that's kind of how we're we're been able to, and then it didn't happen overnight. It's happened last 10 years that we we've grown into those many states. It's

23:41 super impressive, man. I mean, I was the thing. It's like the website you have on the website says local presence, national reach, which is like really cool. That was always our thing that we are local, and we have a local reach. Like if I meet you in California or I go handle a claim in Pennsylvania, the same attitude. It's the same module that we have, wherever we go. And it doesn't matter if we drive 30 minutes to a loss or even flight three hours to loss. It's the same same you know, same claim handling, same everything.

24:06 You have really good travel points, but you have like sick travel. We do have a lot of good travel. We have a good deal on we have a good deal on rental cars, no shortage of rental cars are good. Hey guys, hope you enjoyed part one of this episode. It's just too good to limit one show. Join us next week to hear the rest

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