INTERMOUNTAIN PI | 5/5/2020 | 3 TIPS FOR BREAKING INTO INSURANCE CLAIMS
Breaking into insurance claims as a PI agency owner is difficult. Many private investigators eschew it altogether. The insurance claims market is dominated by nationwide private investigation firms that harness economies of scale. And then, somewhat ironically, turn around and hire or subcontract local private investigators to do the work. Some pay very little. I know one firm that pays $12.00 to $16.00 per hour; a laughable pay rate for a professional investigator. This business model shows no sign of changing.
Of course, I didn’t get to where I am by taking no for an answer. T. E. Lawrence wrote, “All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible.“
In other words, think outside the box. If you’re a small agency owner and want to work insurance claims you have two choices. You can compete with the nationwide PI firms or beat them at their own game. With this in mind, here are 3 tips for breaking into insurance claims.
DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET
First, a rather broad tip but it applies. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (obviously something we all learned from the Coronavirus.) Case in point: well-known Connecticut private investigator John A. Hoda had success early in his career with insurance claims. However, 80% of his business came from one client. Everything was going great until he lost the client overnight. It almost killed his business.
For this reason, if you want to break into insurance claims don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you specialize in at least a couple of other types of investigative services. That way you can absorb losing clients.
PREPARE FOR THE LONG HAUL
Second, attracting new customers, especially claims adjusters, takes time. Therefore, prepare for the long haul. It can take a year or two of phone calls, presentations and setting up vendor tables at claims conferences to see results.
The other day I read a newsgroup post by a new private investigator. He’d been in business for two months and was puzzled why he hadn’t landed any claims adjuster clients. Two months. We’re not selling toilet paper. We are building relationships. And it takes time.
And finally, the last of my 3 tips for breaking into insurance claims.
Nationwide PI firms have a competitive advantage over small local private investigation firms. But what if we want our own insurance claims contracts? The problem is insurance companies like The Hartford and Liberty Mutual want private investigation firms with a nationwide reach. They’d rather deal with two or three nationwide firms than 150 smaller local firms scattered across the U.S.
So where does that leave us? If we can’t compete with the nationwide firms can we beat them at their own game? As it turns out, we can.
But to do so you have to think local. Don’t pursue adjusters that want a nationwide presence. Market your service to adjusters that don’t require a nationwide presence. In other words, local claims adjusters with:
- Utility companies
- Gas companies
- Electric companies
- City government
- County government
- State government
- Local municipal transit companies (bus, train, etc.)
- Local employers
These organizations are usually self-insured. And local. Meaning their employees are local. Consequently, the workers’ compensation and liability claims involve local claimants. They don’t need a PI firm with a nationwide reach. You get the picture.
Until next time, this is Private Investigator Scott Fulmer reminding you the game…is afoot
SCOTT FULMER IS A 30-YEAR VETERAN UTAH PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR AND THE PRINCIPAL AT INTERMOUNTAIN PI, THE LEADING PRIVATE INVESTIGATION FIRM THROUGHOUT UTAH. INTERMOUNTAIN PI PROVIDES INSURANCE FRAUD, CRIMINAL DEFENSE AND DOMESTIC INVESTIGATIONS. HE IS AUTHOR OF THE CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED TRUE CRIME MEMOIR, CONFESSIONS OF A PRIVATE EYE, AVAILABLE ON AMAZON. SCOTT IS A MEMBER OF THE PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS ASSOCIATION OF UTAH AND A DECORATED COMBAT VETERAN OF THE GULF WAR WHERE HE SERVED WITH THE FAMOUS 2ND ARMORED DIVISION (HELL ON WHEELS). AFTERWARDS, HE EARNED A DEGREE IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO. SCOTT LIVES SOMEWHERE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS NEAR THE CROSSROADS OF THE WEST IN HISTORIC SALT LAKE CITY. HE IS AVAILABLE TO SPEAK TO YOUR GROUP OR CONFERENCE, AS WELL AS FOR MEDIA APPEARANCES, BOOK READINGS AND SIGNINGS. CONTACT HIM AT MEDIA@INTERMOUNTAINPI.COM.
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