Insurance scammers?


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Oct 21, 2005
Someone mentioned getting quotes for smoke damage in another thread, but I wanted to start a thread to see if you have the same problem I do when it comes to people asking for quotes for insurance companies.

I work in an area that has floods every once in a while and I get people coming in asking for quotes for frame replacements and they will bring 10-30 pieces in asking us to quote them so they can give it to the insurance company. For me to pick out matching frames/mats/etc it takes me a long time (sometimes several hours) and I have only had 1 customer come back and get the orders done. Our company policy is not to charge a designing fee, but many times these customers are wasting our time.

How do you handle these sorts of things?
charge an hourly fee...........this is for insurance pricing and not for designing. This fee is totaly reimbursable my insurance companies to the client is all is legit.
I'm with Mr. Feig; we charge $60 per hour for insurance estimates, with the promise that the entire amount will be credited to the invoice(s) when the work is done. That discourages scammers.
Thanks I will mention it to the owners, because this has happened several times.
Sorry for the spelling errors.

Another caviet, If 30 items are brought in and only 2-3 are actually commissioned to be worked on, the credit limit is 10% of the amout of reframing work performed.

For the balance of the items priced, they were probally "cashed out" or the person was under insured and ran out of money. In either case that is not the realm of the framer. One should be paid for their services. A "cash out" situation is where the insurance value of an item is less than the cost of repair or replacement. An insurance company, depending on how a policy is written (replacement cost new, replacement cost depreciated, original purchase price) will make a decision. Give the ok for repair or replacement or give the insured money.

There is a third area of claim payment. The insured gets paid to repair and or replace everything........then takes the money and runs. On big claims this is happening less and less due to insurance companies suspecting insurance fraud.
One insurance company paid me directly. The client did the paperwork and I billed the insurer when the work was done. Guess that pretty much avoids the issue of fraud, unless the vendor is in cahoots with the insured.

One of my competitors really lost his butt on one insurance claim. The client has some water damage to the mats on some vintage woodblock prints. The mats were hand embellished with pen lines and watercolor panels. The client set the whole thing up and the framer (having never done a hand embellished mat) invested in the complete Mat Magic kit to do the job. Then he waited for the client to bring the artwork in...for 2 years. Then, having never used it, he sold me the whole kit for about half price.
I had dealings with the same client years later. The poor thing was having to sue her ex for increased support because she just wasn't able to make ends meet after buying the new ocean front resort condo.
Jfeig and Jim,

Thanks, it hasn't come up in my shop yet but this is a great answer to give!

I feel much better prepared!

We charge ten percent of the quoted price for insurance estimates. That amount is applied to the balance if we get the order to do the work.