Insurance Checks

When the insurance check is made out both yourself and the homeowner… Do you guys usually sign the claim check and let the homeowner keep it and let them write you a check from their own account or do you let the customer sign the check from the claim and take the actual claim check?

Both,The beauty of it YOU have to be present during either.

Yeah… Personally I would rather take the claim check… that way I dont have to worry about the homeowner cashing the check and making their lease payment on their 2012 Escalade… This customer was wanting me to come sign the check and he would write me a check from his personal account but I have always just taken the claim check… It seems likes its easier for everyone for him to just sign it and then give me the check.

Not trying to insult your intelligence but,Don’t be stupid.I would not sign it until you have completed all the repairs as stated on your contract.IMO you should be leary of signing it then waiting for the customer to call you however many day’s later.Money does silly things to people when left unattended.

I would be present during the “Depositing Phase”,Don’t buy into that ,The check has to clear crap.

Call me paranoid but that check never leaves my sight.Call me what you will but that check is my investment.

I have heard horror stories about some friends who signed off and bought the “Check Clearing B.S” never to be paid.

Some may call me greedy or a money grub,BUT I have at least 1/2 of that check tied up in materials and labor by the time the job is completed.

Yeah the work was finished last week… I’m just going to go by tomorrow and pick up the claim check… Just curious if other roofers trust homeowners to Not keep the claim money

You trust your customer is 100% satisfied.

They trust your workmanship.

And its all “In God We Trust”,but when it comes to money,everyone else should be monitored IMO.

If the check is made out to your business how can you endorse it for deposit into a homeowners account?We get a w9 issued with any check over ten thousand dollars, i tell homeowners it has to go into my account if i get audited and theres a w2 and no deposit?

I trust when the check has cleared and the money is listed as available. Trust is a two way street. We will agree to drop the materials and then get the 50% deposit prior to starting work. But when somebody grumbles about trusting us, I ask them to reverse the roles. They have all kinds of ways to check me out. BBB, Angie’s List, references, etc… About all we can do is run a credit check on them. If you’re doing insurance work and you’ve helped get the claim approved, by the time the roof is ready to build, you’ve already shown credibility and invested substantial money and effort into the job. The HO has an insurance check in their hands, what reason could they possibly have for not providing the deposit? It is part of our contract and for the most part, is non negotiable.

I’ve had a couple customers run off with the money, but this one you won’t believe…

Mother dies last year and leaves house & $$ in a Trust to My customer, her husband and their 2yr old. I fully inspect the property. The trust attorney had negligently allowed the policy to lapse, so I explain to the customer how he can get it re-instated. 3 months later – their ready to go. I start with a Contingency Agmt. - adjustment goes Perfect + pays 100 %-( no depreciation & before my supplements), I get a formal Contract with the initial numbers. The Customers happy, the INS Co is happy and I’m happy…plus I am a co-payee on the check.

The trust attorney gets the check, refuses to contact/talk with me despite repeated requests by the customer, and immediately tries to have me removed as payee. The INS co refuses, citing the signed contract and he finally threatens to sue them and they finally cave. The customer, Ins Co and I am appalled at this sleezeball…his rationale?..the usual for people like this. “I don’t need to talk with you, this is my money – I can do with it as I please”. Now “his” people are doing the work. My attorney says he could be disbarred, and I start the normal collection/cancellation procedures. His response? “You know I’m an attorney – litigation is part of what I do. If you and your attorney think it will be financially practical to sue me, I’ll see you in court”.

I don’t back down…now I’m filing a complaint to have him disbarred and then I’m taking him to court – on my own…I can’t afford $10k to have an attorney do it < yeah…I know.

In my experience…

sorry to vent - these things are soo frustrating :x

Johne, you don’t want to pursue that on your own. I would shop around and see if you can find an attorney that will take it on a contingency basis. It’s not normally a contingency type case, but if there is the chance to receive punitive damages an attorney might consider it.

I would say he is going to be in hot water with his state BAR. I see a possible breach of fiduciary duty along with tortious interference of contract or business expectancy. From what you have said it sounds like it is a good case. However, a layman going up against an attorney is not going to bode well for the layman. The attorney knows the rules of the game (although his conduct makes me wonder). Not knowing the rules can cost you the game before you ever get a chance to step onto the playing field.

Here’s an article I found on Tortious Interference written based upon Virginia law. Most states are going to be similar. This will give you an idea of what this particular cause of action is about. Even if you master that aspect of it, you still have Civil Procedure and the Rules of Evidence to deal with.

Tortious Interference

Attorneys can negotiate their price the same as we do.

Thanks d, I appreciate the input and the lead…I’ll check it out. I’m starting with a request to have him investigated by the ARDC (IL - Attny Reg. Disciplinary Comm) to have him censored or worse. Then comes small claims court.

One of the benefits of this business is (I)you are accustomed to documenting everything ! :slight_smile:

Where are you at in Illinois?

Here is a link to the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct.

Some points of interest:

Rule 1.15. Safekeeping Property

(b) Upon receiving funds or other property in which a client or third person has an interest, a lawyer shall promptly notify the client or third person. Except as stated in this rule or otherwise permitted by law or by agreement with the client, a lawyer shall promptly deliver to the client or third person any funds or other property that the client or third person is entitled to receive and, upon request by the client or third person, shall promptly render a full accounting regarding such property.

  (c) When in the course of representation a lawyer is in possession of property in which both the lawyer and another person claim interests, the property shall be kept separate by the lawyer until there is an accounting and severance of their interests. If a dispute arises concerning their respective interests, the portion in dispute shall be kept separate by the lawyer until the dispute is resolved.

I am not giving you advice of any sort other than what I have earlier suggested about hiring a lawyer yourself. However, this is information that will help you proceed on your own.

Illinois Rules of Evidence

Illinois Code of Civil Procedure

I think after you spend a couple hours browsing through those links you will begin to see what you are up against.

thanks…Chicago, and unfortunately, i’m already a few weeks into this - quite familiar with the IRPC, and have him dead-to-rights on several violations: 4.1:a&b Truthfulness and 8.4:1,2,4 & 5, Misconduct.

The tort laws were a big help - even if someone tries to contest the Contract, it wont help


Tortious interference with a contract, or
Tortious interference with prospective economic advantage (contingencies)

i can put up with just about anything…that is, anything but someone stealing from me

thanks again, you’ve beeen a big help

Sounds like a sleazy attorney who (like most sleazy attorneys) thinks his law degree makes him smarter than anyone else (why so many politicians are also attorneys) and thinks he can intimidate you into giving up without a fight. I’d send the attorney a short note suggesting that his actions are TI, attempt to cause a breach and other things while also reminding him of the consequences of said actions. He might at least be smart enough to see the wisdom of doing the right thing, at least in this case.

Attorneys - like Judges, politicians, P&C inc claim supervisors, P&C ins co execs, are just people - regardless of their “level” and need to be confronted when necessary. Amazing what happens when you confront and expose bad behaviour.